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Publication numberUS20080139674 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/978,137
Publication dateJun 12, 2008
Filing dateOct 25, 2007
Priority dateOct 25, 2006
Also published asCA2667791A1, EP2097107A2, EP2097107A4, EP2097107B1, US8591957, US8597689, US9402803, US20080146679, US20140086963, US20140161882, US20140255454, WO2008052145A2, WO2008052145A3
Publication number11978137, 978137, US 2008/0139674 A1, US 2008/139674 A1, US 20080139674 A1, US 20080139674A1, US 2008139674 A1, US 2008139674A1, US-A1-20080139674, US-A1-2008139674, US2008/0139674A1, US2008/139674A1, US20080139674 A1, US20080139674A1, US2008139674 A1, US2008139674A1
InventorsGregory J. Archambeau, Richard L. Watson, Anthony B. Wood
Original AssigneeRevalesio Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Methods of wound care and treatment
US 20080139674 A1
Abstract
Particular embodiments disclosed herein relate to gas-enriched fluids, methods of making the same, systems for making the same and/or methods of treatment utilizing the gas-enriched fluids for wound care related conditions and/or diseases. In certain embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid is oxygen-enriched water. Certain embodiments relate to cosmetic and/or therapeutic fluids and/or methods of treatment utilizing the fluids in order to treat a cosmetic and/or therapeutic symptom of wound care and/or increase proper wound healing.
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Claims(30)
1. A method for treating a wound to a surface tissue, comprising contacting a wound of a subject in need thereof with an effective amount of an electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid, wherein the oxygen in the fluid is present in an amount of at least 15, ppm, at least 25 ppm, at least 30 ppm, at least 40 ppm, at least 50 ppm, or at least 60 ppm oxygen at atmospheric pressure, wherein treatment of at least one wound healing property selected from the group consisting of: epidmeral or dermal layering, cellular migration, collagen deposition at the wound, neoangiogenesis at the wound, elastin deposition at the wound, inflammation at the wound, expression of proteoglycans or glycosaminoglycans, cellular proliferation, and hyaluronic acid concentration at the wound, is afforded.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the wound is selected from the group consisting of: lacerations, abrasions, rupture, puncture wounds, chemical, thermal, or radiation-induced burns, cuts, scrapes, incisions, blisters, diabetic ulcers, bedsores or pressure ulcers, skin grafts, and surgical wounds.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein the electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid accelerates epidermal or dermal layering.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid increases cellular migration of at least one type of cell to the wound.
5. The method of claim 4 wherein the type of cellular migration or proliferation comprises at least one cell selected from the group consisting of: keratinocytes, fibroblasts, epidermal cells, dermal cells, epithelial cells, mast cells, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and macrophages.
6. The method of claim 1 wherein the electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid accelerates neoangiogenesis of blood vessels or lymphatic vessels.
7. The method of claim 1 wherein the electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid increases collagen deposition at the wound.
8. A method for preventing infection in a wound to a surface tissue, comprising contacting a wound of a subject in need thereof with an effective amount of an electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid, wherein the oxygen in the fluid is present in an amount of at least 15, ppm, at least 25 ppm, at least 30 ppm, at least 40 ppm, at least 50 ppm, or at least 60 ppm oxygen, wherein the fluid reduces growth of at least one microbe in the wound.
9. The method of claim 8 wherein the microbe comprises Pseudomonas.
10. A method for decreasing scarring in a wound to a surface tissue comprising contacting a wound of a subject in need thereof with an effective amount of an electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid, wherein the oxygen in the fluid is present in an amount of at least 15, ppm, at least 25 ppm, at least 30 ppm, at least 40 ppm, at least 50 ppm, or at least 60 ppm oxygen at atmospheric pressure, wherein scarring is decreased.
11. The method of claim 10 wherein the electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid further increases the level of chemokines at the wound.
12. A method for increasing or decreasing nitric oxide production or degradation at a wound to a surface tissue comprising contacting a wound of a subject in need thereof with an effective amount of an electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid, wherein the oxygen in the fluid is present in an amount of at least 15, ppm, at least 25 ppm, at least 30 ppm, at least 40 ppm, at least 50 ppm, or at least 60 ppm oxygen, wherein an increased or decreased level of nitric oxide is afforded.
13. The method of any one of claims 1-12, wherein the electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid is contacted to the wound by way of a wound dressing.
14. (canceled)
15. A therapeutic composition comprising an electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid, wherein the oxygen in the fluid is present in an amount of at least 15, ppm, at least 25 ppm, at least 30 ppm, at least 40 ppm, at least 50 ppm, or at least 60 ppm oxygen at atmospheric pressure, and a therapeutic agent selected from the group consisting of: anti-microbial agent, cytokines, salts, vasodilators, vasoconstrictors, lubricants, chemokines, and any combination thereof.
16. The method of claim 10, wherein the electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid alters at least one wound healing property selected from the group consisting of: cellular migration of at least one type of cell to the wound, collagen deposition at the wound, neoangiogenesis at the wound, elastin deposition at the wound, expression of proteoglycans or glycosaminoglycans, and hyaluronic acid concentration at the wound.
17. The method of any one of claims 1, 8, 10, and 12, wherein the electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid comprises electrokinetically modified or charged oxygen species.
18. The method of claim 17, wherein the electrokinetically modified or charged oxygen species are present in an amount of at least 0.5 ppm, at least 1 ppm, at least 3 ppm, at least 5 ppm, at least 7 ppm, at least 10 ppm, at least 15 ppm, or at least 20 ppm.
19. The method of any one of claims 1, 8, 10, and 12, wherein the electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid comprises solvated electrons stabilized by molecular oxygen.
20. The method of claim 19, wherein the solvated electrons are present in an amount of at least 0.01 ppm, at least 0.1 ppm, at least 0.5 ppm, at least 1 ppm, at least 3 ppm, at least 5 ppm, at least 7 ppm, at least 10 ppm, at least 15 ppm, or at least 20 ppm.
21. The method of any one of claims 1, 8, 10, and 12, wherein the fluid differentially alters at least one of the conformation of horseradish peroxidase, and the accessibility of oxygen to the heme pocket of horseradish peroxidase, relative to a control pressure pot generated or fine-bubble generated aqueous fluid or solution having an equivalent dissolved oxygen level.
22. The method of claim 21, wherein the fluid facilitates oxidation of pyrogallol to purpurogallin in the presence of horseradish peroxidase enzyme (HRP) in an amount above that afforded by a control pressure pot generated or fine-bubble generated aqueous fluid or solution having an equivalent dissolved oxygen level, and wherein there is no hydrogen peroxide, or less than 0.1 ppm of hydrogen peroxide present in the electrokinetic oxygen-enriched aqueous fluid or solution.
23. The method of claim 22, wherein the facilitation of oxidation of pyrogallol to purpurogallin persists for at least three hours in an open container, or for at least two months in a closed gas-tight container.
24. The therapeutic composition of claim 15, wherein the electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid comprises electrokinetically modified or charged oxygen species.
25. The therapeutic composition of claim 24, wherein the electrokinetically modified or charged oxygen species are present in an amount of at least 0.5 ppm, at least 1 ppm, at least 3 ppm, at least 5 ppm, at least 7 ppm, at least 10 ppm, at least 15 ppm, or at least 20 ppm.
26. The therapeutic composition of claim 15, wherein the electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid comprises solvated electrons stabilized by molecular oxygen.
27. The therapeutic composition of claim 26, wherein the solvated electrons are present in an amount of at least 0.01 ppm, at least 0.1 ppm, at least 0.5 ppm, at least 1 ppm, at least 3 ppm, at least 5 ppm, at least 7 ppm, at least 10 ppm, at least 15 ppm, or at least 20 ppm.
28. The therapeutic composition of claim 15, wherein the fluid differentially alters at least one of the conformation of horseradish peroxidase, and the accessibility of oxygen to the heme pocket of horseradish peroxidase, relative to a control pressure pot generated or fine-bubble generated aqueous fluid or solution having an equivalent dissolved oxygen level.
29. The therapeutic composition of claim 28, wherein the fluid facilitates oxidation of pyrogallol to purpurogallin in the presence of horseradish peroxidase enzyme (HRP) in an amount above that afforded by a control pressure pot generated or fine-bubble generated aqueous fluid or solution having an equivalent dissolved oxygen level, and wherein there is no hydrogen peroxide, or less than 0.1 ppm of hydrogen peroxide present in the electrokinetic oxygen-enriched aqueous fluid or solution.
30. The therapeutic composition of claim 29, wherein the facilitation of oxidation of pyrogallol to purpurogallin persists for at least three hours in an open container, or for at least two months in a closed gas-tight container.
Description
    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    Disclosed herein are gas-enriched fluid compositions, methods of making, and methods of using the same for general wound care and treatment. In particular embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid comprises an oxygen-enriched fluid.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    Wound care is desirable in order to improve health and appearance of the outer epidermis, as well as underlying dermal and other tissues. Wounds, either injury induced (such as cuts, abrasions, blisters, etc.), or surgically induced (such as surgical incisions, astomies, etc.) require localized treatment to remedy the affected area and prevent further dermal damage. If wounds are not properly treated, further dermal irritation can result, including secondary infections and further discomfort to the subject.
  • [0003]
    Improper wound care and/or wound healing result in greater than 100 billion dollars per year, and may require antibiotic use, hospitalizations, and great pain or discomfort to the subject. Present methods of therapeutic wound care are inadequate and routinely include washing with soap and water and/or applying an antiseptic, but still may lead to infection and/or improper wound healing and repair. Thus, novel therapeutic methods and compositions for wound care and wound healing are needed.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0004]
    Particular embodiments disclosed herein relate to methods for treating a wound to a surface tissue, comprising contacting a wound for a sufficient amount of time and with an effective amount of a gas-enriched fluid comprising solvated electrons, wherein the gas-enriched fluid alters a wound healing property selected from the group consisting of: epidmeral or dermal layering, cellular migration, collagen deposition at the wound, neoangiogenesis at the wound, elastin deposition at the wound, chemokine levels at the wound, inflammation at the wound, expression of proteoglycans or glycosaminoglycans, cellular proliferation, and hyaluronic acid concentration at the wound, when compared with an untreated wound or a wound treated with non-gas enriched fluid. In particular embodiments, the wound is selected from the group consisting of: lacerations, abrasions, rupture, puncture wounds, chemical, thermal, or radiation-induced burns, cuts, scrapes, incisions, blisters, diabetic ulcers, bedsores or pressure ulcers, skin grafts, and surgical wounds.
  • [0005]
    In certain embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid accelerates epidermal or dermal layering compared with an untreated wound or a wound treated with non-gas enriched fluid. In other embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid increases cellular migration of at least one type of cell to the wound. In still other embodiments, the type of cellular migration or proliferation comprises at least one cell selected from the group consisting of: keratinocytes, fibroblasts, epidermal cells, dermal cells, epithelial cells, mast cells, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and macrophages.
  • [0006]
    In some particular embodiments of the present invention, the gas-enriched fluid accelerates neoangiogenesis of blood vessels or lymphatic vessels compared with an untreated wound or wound treated with non-gas enriched fluid. In still other embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid increases collagen deposition at the wound compared with an untreated wound or a wound treated with non-gas enriched fluid.
  • [0007]
    Certain embodiments described herein relate to methods for preventing infection in a wound to a surface tissue comprising contacting a wound for a sufficient amount of time and with an effective amount of a gas-enriched fluid comprising solvated electrons, wherein the gas-enriched fluid reduces growth of at least one microbe in the wound. In certain embodiments, the microbe comprises Pseudomonas.
  • [0008]
    Other particular embodiments disclosed herein relate to methods for decreasing scarring in a wound to a surface tissue comprising contacting a wound for a sufficient amount of time and with an effective amount of a gas-enriched fluid comprising solvated electrons, wherein the gas-enriched fluid alters a wound healing property selected from the group consisting of: cellular migration of at least one type of cell to the wound, collagen deposition at the wound, neoangiogenesis at the wound, elastin deposition at the wound, expression of proteoglycans or glycosaminoglycans, and hyaluronic acid concentration at the wound, thereby decreasing scarring. In certain embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid further increases the level of chemokines at the wound.
  • [0009]
    Certain other embodiments relate to methods for increasing or decreasing nitric oxide production or degradation at a wound to a surface tissue comprising contacting a wound for a sufficient amount of time and with an effective amount of a gas-enriched fluid comprising solvated electrons, wherein the wound demonstrates an increased or decreased nitric oxide level compared with an untreated wound or a wound treated with deionized saline.
  • [0010]
    In any of the aforementioned embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid may be contacted to the wound by way of a wound dressing. Furthermore, in any of the aforementioned embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid comprises oxygen-enriched fluid. In any of the embodiments disclosed herein, the gas-enriched fluid contains diffused or dissolved gas at a level of greater than about 15 parts per million at atmospheric pressure, and further comprises solvated electrons.
  • [0011]
    Certain embodiments herein relate to a therapeutic composition comprising a gas-enriched fluid and a therapeutic agent selected from the group consisting of: anti-microbial agent, cytokines, salts, vasodilators, vasoconstrictors, lubricants, chemokines, and any combination thereof.
  • [0012]
    Particular aspects provide a composition, comprising an electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid or solution, wherein the oxygen in the fluid or solution is present in an amount of at least 25 ppm, at least 30 ppm, at least 40 ppm, at least 50 ppm, or at least 60 ppm oxygen. In particular embodiments, the electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid or solution comprises electrokinetically modified or charged oxygen species. In certain aspects, the electrokinetically modified or charged oxygen species are present in an amount of at least 0.5 ppm, at least 1 ppm, at least 3 ppm, at least 5 ppm, at least 7 ppm, at least 10 ppm, at least 15 ppm, or at least 20 ppm. In particular embodiments, the electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid or solution comprises solvated electrons stabilized by molecular oxygen. In certain aspects, the solvated electrons are present in an amount of at least 0.01 ppm, at least 0.1 ppm, at least 0.5 ppm, at least 1 ppm, at least 3 ppm, at least 5 ppm, at least 7 ppm, at least 10 ppm, at least 15 ppm, or at least 20 ppm. In particular embodiments, the fluid or solution facilitates oxidation of pyrogallol to purpurogallin in the presence of horseradish peroxidase enzyme (HRP) in an amount above that afforded by a control pressure pot generated or fine-bubble generated aqueous fluid or solution having an equivalent dissolved oxygen level, and wherein there is no hydrogen peroxide, or less than 0.1 ppm of hydrogen peroxide present in the electrokinetic oxygen-enriched aqueous fluid or solution. In certain aspects, the facilitation of oxidation of pyrogallol to purpurogallin persists for at least three hours in an open container, or for at least two months in a closed gas-tight container.
  • [0013]
    Additional aspects provide a composition, comprising an electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid or solution, wherein the fluid or solution comprises at least 25 ppm, at least 30 ppm, at least 40 ppm, at least 50 ppm, or at least 60 ppm oxygen, wherein the fluid or solution facilitates oxidation of pyrogallol to purpurogallin in the presence of horseradish peroxidase enzyme (HRP) in an amount above that afforded by a control pressure pot generated or fine-bubble generated aqueous fluid or solution having an equivalent dissolved oxygen level, and wherein there is no hydrogen peroxide, or less than 0.1 ppm of hydrogen peroxide present in the electrokinetic oxygen-enriched aqueous fluid or solution. In particular embodiments, the facilitation of oxidation of pyrogallol to purpurogallin persists for at least three hours in an open container, or for at least two months in a closed gas-tight container. In certain aspects, the oxygenated aqueous fluid or solution comprises solvated electrons stabilized by molecular oxygen. In particular embodiments, the solvated electrons are present in an amount of at least 0.01 ppm, at least 0.1 ppm, at least 0.5 ppm, at least 1 ppm, at least 3 ppm, at least 5 ppm, at least 7 ppm, at least 10 ppm, at least 15 ppm, or at least 20 ppm.
  • [0014]
    Further aspects provide a method of producing an electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid or solution, comprising: providing a flow of a fluid material between two spaced surfaces in relative motion and defining a mixing volume therebetween, wherein the dwell time of a single pass of the flowing fluid material within and through the mixing volume is greater than 0.06 seconds or greater than 0.1 seconds; and introducing oxygen (O2) into the flowing fluid material within the mixing volume under conditions suitable to dissolve at least 20 ppm, at least 25 ppm, at least 30 ppm, at least 40 ppm, at least 50 ppm, or at least 60 ppm oxygen into the material, and electrokinetically alter the fluid or solution. In certain aspects, the oxygen is infused into the material in less than 100 milliseconds, less than 200 milliseconds, less than 300 milliseconds, or less than 400 milliseconds. In particular embodiments, the ratio of surface area to the volume is at least 12, at least 20, at least 30, at least 40, or at least 50.
  • [0015]
    Yet further aspects, provide a method of producing an electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid or solution, comprising: providing a flow of a fluid material between two spaced surfaces defining a mixing volume therebetween; and introducing oxygen into the flowing material within the mixing volume under conditions suitable to infuse at least 20 ppm, at least 25 ppm, at least 30 ppm, at least 40 ppm, at least 50 ppm, or at least 60 ppm oxygen into the material in less than 100 milliseconds, less than 200 milliseconds, less than 300 milliseconds, or less than 400 milliseconds. In certain aspects, the dwell time of the flowing material within the mixing volume is greater than 0.06 seconds or greater than 0.1 seconds. In particular embodiments, the ratio of surface area to the volume is at least 12, at least 20, at least 30, at least 40, or at least 50.
  • [0016]
    Additional embodiments provide a method of producing an electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid or solution, comprising use of a mixing device for creating an output mixture by mixing a first material and a second material, the device comprising: a first chamber configured to receive the first material from a source of the first material; a stator; a rotor having an axis of rotation, the rotor being disposed inside the stator and configured to rotate about the axis of rotation therein, at least one of the rotor and stator having a plurality of through-holes; a mixing chamber defined between the rotor and the stator, the mixing chamber being in fluid communication with the first chamber and configured to receive the first material therefrom, and the second material being provided to the mixing chamber via the plurality of through-holes formed in the one of the rotor and stator; a second chamber in fluid communication with the mixing chamber and configured to receive the output material therefrom; and a first internal pump housed inside the first chamber, the first internal pump being configured to pump the first material from the first chamber into the mixing chamber. In certain aspects, the first internal pump is configured to impart a circumferential velocity into the first material before it enters the mixing chamber.
  • [0017]
    Further embodiments provide a method of producing an electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid or solution, comprising use of a mixing device for creating an output mixture by mixing a first material and a second material, the device comprising: a stator; a rotor having an axis of rotation, the rotor being disposed inside the stator and configured to rotate about the axis of rotation therein; a mixing chamber defined between the rotor and the stator, the mixing chamber having an open first end through which the first material enters the mixing chamber and an open second end through which the output material exits the mixing chamber, the second material entering the mixing chamber through at least one of the rotor and the stator; a first chamber in communication with at least a majority portion of the open first end of the mixing chamber; and a second chamber in communication with the open second end of the mixing chamber.
  • [0018]
    Additional aspects provide an electrokinetically altered oxygenated aqueous fluid or solution made according to any of the above methods.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)
  • [0019]
    FIG. 1 is a partial cross-section, partial block diagram of a prior art mixing device.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 2 is block diagram of an exemplary embodiment of a mixing device.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 3 is an illustration of an exemplary system for delivering a first material to the mixing device of FIG. 2.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 4 is a fragmentary partial cross-sectional view of a top portion of the mixing device of FIG. 2.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of a first side portion of the mixing device of FIG. 2.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 6 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of a second side portion of the mixing device of FIG. 2.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 7 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of a side portion of the mixing device of FIG. 2 located between the first side portion of FIG. 5 and the second side portion of FIG. 6.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a rotor and a stator of the mixing device of FIG. 2.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an inside of a first chamber of the mixing device of FIG. 2.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 10 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the inside of a first chamber of the mixing device of FIG. 2 including an alternate embodiment of the pump 410.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an inside of a second chamber of the mixing device of FIG. 2.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 12 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of a side portion of an alternate embodiment of the mixing device.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 13 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a central section of the housing for use with an alternate embodiment of the mixing device.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 14 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of an alternate embodiment of a bearing housing for use with an alternate embodiment of the mixing device.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional view of the mixing chamber of the mixing device of FIG. 2 taken through a plane orthogonal to the axis of rotation depicting a rotary flow pattern caused by cavitation bubbles when a through-hole of the rotor approaches (but is not aligned with) an aperture of the stator.
  • [0034]
    FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view of the mixing chamber of the mixing device of FIG. 2 taken through a plane orthogonal to the axis of rotation depicting a rotary flow pattern caused by cavitation bubbles when the through-hole of the rotor is aligned with the aperture of the stator.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional view of the mixing chamber of the mixing device of FIG. 2 taken through a plane orthogonal to the axis of rotation depicting a rotary flow pattern caused by cavitation bubbles when a through-hole of the rotor that was previously aligned with the aperture of the stator is no longer aligned therewith.
  • [0036]
    FIG. 18 is a side view of an alternate embodiment of a rotor.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 19 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken through a plane orthogonal to an axis of rotation of the rotor depicting an alternate configuration of through-holes formed in the rotor and through-holes formed in the stator.
  • [0038]
    FIG. 20 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken through a plane passing through and extending along the axis of rotation of the rotor depicting a configuration of through-holes formed in the rotor and through-holes formed in the stator.
  • [0039]
    FIG. 21 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken through a plane passing through and extending along the axis of rotation of the rotor depicting an alternate offset configuration of through-holes formed in the rotor and through-holes formed in the stator.
  • [0040]
    FIG. 22 is an illustration of a shape that may be used to construct the through-holes of the rotor and/or the apertures of the stator.
  • [0041]
    FIG. 23 is an illustration of a shape that may be used to construct the through-holes of the rotor and/or the apertures of the stator.
  • [0042]
    FIG. 24 is an illustration of a shape that may be used to construct the through-holes of the rotor and/or the apertures of the stator.
  • [0043]
    FIG. 25 is an illustration of a shape that may be used to construct the through-holes of the rotor and/or the apertures of the stator.
  • [0044]
    FIG. 26 is an illustration of an electrical double layer (“EDL”) formed near a surface.
  • [0045]
    FIG. 27 is a perspective view of a model of the inside of the mixing chamber.
  • [0046]
    FIG. 28 is a cross-sectional view of the model of FIG. 27.
  • [0047]
    FIG. 29 is an illustration of an experimental setup.
  • [0048]
    FIG. 30 illustrates dissolved oxygen levels in water processed with oxygen in the mixing device of FIG. 2 and stored a 500 ml thin walled plastic bottle and a 1,000 ml glass bottle each capped at 65° Fahrenheit.
  • [0049]
    FIG. 31 illustrates dissolved oxygen levels in water processed with oxygen in the mixing device of FIG. 2 and stored in a 500 ml plastic thin walled bottle and a 1,000 ml glass bottle both refrigerated at 390 Fahrenheit.
  • [0050]
    FIG. 32 illustrates the dissolved oxygen levels in GATORADE® processed with oxygen in the mixing device of FIG. 2 and stored in 32 oz. GATORADE® bottles having an average temperature of 550 Fahrenheit.
  • [0051]
    FIG. 33 illustrates the dissolved oxygen retention of a 500 ml braun balanced salt solution processed with oxygen in the mixing device of FIG. 2.
  • [0052]
    FIG. 34 illustrates a further experiment wherein the mixing device of FIG. 2 is used to sparge oxygen from water by processing the water with nitrogen in the mixing device of FIG. 2.
  • [0053]
    FIG. 35 illustrates the sparging of oxygen from water by the mixing device of FIG. 2 at standard temperature and pressure.
  • [0054]
    FIG. 36 is an illustration of a nanocage.
  • [0055]
    FIGS. 37A and B illustrate Rayleigh scattering effects of an oxygen-enriched fluid;
  • [0056]
    FIG. 38 illustrates DNA thermostability of one embodiment of the inventive fluid;
  • [0057]
    FIG. 39A illustrates the pyrogallol/horseradish peroxidase reactivity test at initial point of fluid production, room temperature;
  • [0058]
    FIG. 39B illustrates the pyrogallol/horseradish peroxidase reactivity test at 30 minutes, room temperature;
  • [0059]
    FIG. 39C illustrates the pyrogallol/horseradish peroxidase reactivity test at 2 hours, room temperature;
  • [0060]
    FIG. 39D illustrates the pyrogallol/horseradish peroxidase reactivity test at 3 hours, room temperature;
  • [0061]
    FIG. 39E illustrates the pyrogallol/horseradish peroxidase reactivity test with various gases enriched in the fluid, according to particular embodiments;
  • [0062]
    FIG. 40 illustrates the results of the glutathione peroxidase test, verifying the absence of hydrogen peroxide;
  • [0063]
    FIG. 41 illustrates the results of pyrogallol/horseradish peroxidase reactivity assay with oxygen-enriched inventive fluid, deionized water (−) control, and hydrogen peroxide (+) control;
  • [0064]
    FIG. 42 illustrates the cytokine profile of a mitogenic assay in the presence of a gas-enriched fluid and deionized control fluid;
  • [0065]
    FIG. 43 illustrates the difference in the growth rates of Pseudomonas bacteria at various dissolved oxygen saturation ratios;
  • [0066]
    FIGS. 44 a and 44 b illustrate in vitro healing of wounds using an oxygen-enriched cell culture media and a non-gas-enriched media;
  • [0067]
    FIGS. 45 a through 45 f show histological cross-sections of dermal and epidermal in vivo wound healing;
  • [0068]
    FIG. 46 illustrates the expression of Hale's stain in treated and control healing wounds, used to detect acid mucopolysaccharides, such as hyaluronic acid;
  • [0069]
    FIG. 47 illustrates the expression of von Willebrand's Factor stain used to detect angiogenesis in treated and control healing wounds;
  • [0070]
    FIG. 48 illustrates the expression of Luna's stain used to detect elastin in treated and control healing wounds;
  • [0071]
    FIG. 49 illustrates the number of mast cells per visual field for treated and control healing wounds;
  • [0072]
    FIG. 50 illustrates the percentage of dead cells at separate time points in a corneal fibroblast assay using inventive gas-enriched culture media and control culture media,
  • [0073]
    FIG. 51 illustrates the shelf life of the inventive gas-enriched fluid in a polymer pouch; and
  • [0074]
    FIG. 52 illustrates the results of contacting splenocytes with MOG in the presence of pressurized pot oxygenated fluid (1), inventive gas-enriched fluid (2), or control deionized fluid (3).
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0075]
    The present invention includes compositions and methods for promoting proper wound healing and/or wound care. The compositions and/or methods disclosed herein may be used on a variety of wounds, wherein a wound is a break in the skin or other tissue or organ, such as lacerations, cuts, scrapes, blisters, abrasions, burns, diabetic ulcers, bedsores, surgical wounds, and other wounds. Healing is a biological response to the injury that occurs typically with some scarring (with the exception of bone wounds). Thus, one of the objects of proper wound care is to minimize the possibility of infection and/or scarring.
  • [0076]
    The present medical practice is typically to wash or irrigate the wound with a stream of sterile saline, soap and water, providone/iodine, and/or other antiseptic antibiotic or anesthetic solutions. Typically, irrigating fluid is splashed onto the wound surface with an amount of force sufficient to dislodge dirt, debris, bacteria or dead tissue. The goal of wound irrigation is to remove debris and bacteria from the wound while minimizing injury to the normal tissue around the wound. This is difficult for deep penetrating wounds, such as those associated with a puncture wound from a stick or those from an animal bite. In the case of deep puncture wounds, and especially animal bites, it is especially important to thoroughly clean the wound due to the debris and microbial introduction deep into the tissue. These types of wounds typically require daily care under the present modes of wound care. Additionally, chronic wounds are common in subjects who are confined to a bed, wheelchair, or are otherwise sedentary or immobile, who have a nerve and/or blood circulation disorder or condition that impairs wound healing (such as those suffering from diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, peripheral neuropathy, immunosuppression, sickle cell anemia, those who are or have been receiving steroids and/or chemotherapy drugs, those who are advanced in age, and others).
  • [0077]
    In certain situations, it may be necessary to suture the wound. If the wound requires sutures (stitches, staples, skin glue, tape, etc.), it may be cleansed, sutured, and dressed with bandages.
  • [0078]
    The present inventive compositions and/or methods may further be utilized for dressing treatment and/or wound irrigation. In certain embodiments, the wound irrigation may be applied under a pressure. In certain embodiments the wound irrigation pressure comprises about 2 psi, about 5 psi, about 8 psi, about 10 psi, about 12 psi, about 15 psi, about 18 psi, about 20 psi, or any value therebetween.
  • [0079]
    In certain embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid compositions and/or methods of the present invention relate to treating wound dressings. Wound dressings remove excess exudate from the wound, keeps the wound moist, and prevents dehydration, which can increase the rate of wound healing. In the treatment of wounds, antibiotics and/or antiseptics may be incorporated into dressings. In some particular embodiments, the wound dressing incorporates a biologically and/or chemically active substance (such as a cosmetic and/or therapeutic agent) in a separate phase which is disbursed in a continuous phase upon applying and/or over time. In this manner, the biologically and/or chemically active substance can be applied directly to the wound by way of the dressing. Application of the biologically and/or chemically active substance can be delivered continuous, all at once, or intermittent over time by way of the wound dressing.
  • [0080]
    In the case of occlusive dressings for wounds such as pressure sores (including bedsores), ulcers, or other wounds that may be persistent or chronic, the dressing may be applied that contains both an inner contact layer and an outer protecting layer. In certain embodiments, the inner layer or barrier layer, contains water absorptive material such as hydrocolloids, which allows fluid from the wound to be absorbed and making it possible to keep the dressing in place for at least several days.
  • [0081]
    In certain embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid compositions and/or methods of the present invention promote wound healing and/or reduce scarring, and/or reduce infection in wounds. In certain embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid compositions and/or methods of the present invention increase extracellular matrix deposition and/or production; increase collagen deposition and/or production; hylauronic acid deposition and/or production; and/or elastin deposition and/or production. In other embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid compositions and/or methods of the present invention promote proliferation, differentiation, and/or apoptosis of epithelial cells, keratinocytes, connective tissue, and/or muscle cells or other related cells of a wound.
  • [0082]
    The gas-enriched compositions and/or methods disclosed herein may promote any one or more stages of wound healing, including decreasing bleeding, increasing narrowing of blood vessels and/or clot formation, release of various chemical substances into the wound; increase angiogenesis, increase epithelialization of the wound, increase production of proteins related to wound healing, increase remodeling and/or proliferation and/or migration of epithelial cells and/or keratinocytes.
  • [0083]
    Inventive Gas-Enriched Fluids and Solutions
  • [0084]
    Diffusing or enriching a fluid with another fluid may result in a solution or suspension of the two fluids. In particular, enriching a liquid with a gas (e.g. oxygen) may be beneficial for certain applications, including therapeutic treatments. As utilized herein, “fluid,” may generally refer to a liquid, a gas, a vapor, a mixture of liquids and/or gases, or any combination thereof, for any particular disclosed embodiment. Furthermore, in certain embodiments a “liquid” may generally refer to a pure liquid or may refer to a gel, sol, emulsion, fluid, colloid, dispersion, or mixture, as well as any combination thereof; any of which may vary in viscosity.
  • [0085]
    In particular preferred embodiments, the dissolved gas comprises oxygen. In other particular embodiments, the dissolved gas comprises nitric oxide. In other particular embodiments, the gas comprises ambient air.
  • [0086]
    There are several art-recognized methods of gas-enriching fluids (such as oxygenating water). For example, a turbine aeration system can release air near a set of rotating blades of an impeller, which mixes the air or oxygen with the water, or water can be sprayed into the air to increase its oxygen content. Additionally, other systems on the market inject air or oxygen into the water and subject the water/gas to a large scale vortex. Naturally occurring levels of oxygen in water are typically no more than 10 ppm, which is considered to be a level of 100% dissolved oxygen. Tests on certain devices have shown that under ideal conditions, the device can attain upwards of approximately 20 ppm (parts per million)), or twice the natural oxygen levels of water. However, the water loses that high level of dissolved oxygen very rapidly, and within minutes the water returns to having the baseline of about 10 ppm dissolved oxygen.
  • [0087]
    In certain embodiments disclosed herein, a gas-enriched fluid of the present invention provides a cosmetic and/or therapeutic wound care benefit. Certain embodiments disclosed herein relate to a cosmetic and/or therapeutic composition comprising a gas-enriched fluid of the present invention, and optionally at least one additional therapeutic agent, such as a pharmaceutical drug, a metal, a peptide, a polypeptide, a protein, a nucleotide, a carbohydrate or glycosylated protein, a fat (including oils or waxes), or other agent that prevents or alleviates at least one symptom of a condition or disease associated with wounds or wound healing.
  • [0088]
    Compositions and methods are disclosed for treating a wound in any particular organ and/or tissues in need thereof by administering an effective amount of a composition comprising a gas-enriched fluid. As used herein, “treat,” “treating,” “treatment,” and any and all derivations thereof refer to using the compositions of the present invention either prophylactically to conditions or diseases related to wounds and/or wound healing, or cosmetically or therapeutically to ameliorate an existing condition or disease related to improper wound healing, or to increase proper wound healing. In one particular embodiment, the gas-enriched fluid of the present invention inhibits microbial growth. In another particular embodiment, the gas-enriched fluid of the present invention promotes apoptosis.
  • [0089]
    Microbial infections, particularly of Staphlycoccus, Streptococcus, yeast, Serratia, E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and other microbial infections, can cause devastating infections in wounds. Thus, in certain embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid compositions and/or methods of the present invention include anti-microbial agents, such as antifungal, antibiotic, or other anti-microbial agents. Some examples of anti-microbial agents that may be utilized with the gas-enriched fluid compositions and/or methods include, but are not limited to, amikacin, gentamicin, kanamycin, neomycin, netilmicin, streptomycin, tobramycin, paromomycin, geldanamycin, herimycin, loracarbef, ertapenem, imipenem/cilastatin, meropenem, cefadroxil, cefazolin, cefalotin/cefalothin, cephalexin, cefaclor, cefamandole, cefoxitin, cefuroxime, cefixime, cefdinir, cefditoren, cefoperazone, cefotaxime, cefpodoxime, ceftazidime, ceftibuten, ceftizoxime, ceftriaxone, cefeprime, teicoplanin, vancomycin, azithromycin, clarithromycin, dirithromycin, erythromycin, roxithromycin, troleandomycin, telithromycin, spectinomycin, aztreonam, amoxicillin, ampicillin, azlocillin, carbenicillin, cloxacillin, dicloxacillin, flucloxacillin, mezlocillin, nafcillin, penicillin, peperacillin, ticarcillin, bacitracin, colistin, polymyxin B, ciprofloxacin, enoxacin, gatifloxacin, levofloxacin, lomefloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, trovafloxacin, mafenide, protosil, sulfacetamide, sulfamethizole, sulfanilamide, sulfasalazine, sulfisoxazole, trimethoprim, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, demeclocycline, doxycycline, minocycline, oxytetracycline, tetracycline, arsphenamine, chloramphenicol, clindamycin, lincoamycin, ethambutol, fosfomycin, fusidic acid, furazolidone, isoniazid, linezolid, metronidazole, mupirocin, nitrofurantoin, platensimycin, pyrazinamide, quinupristin/dalfopristin, rifampin/rifampicin, timidazole, miconazole, ketoconazole, clotrimazole, econazole, bifonazole, butoconazole, fenticonazole, isoconazole, oxiconazole, sertaconazole, sulconazole, tioconazole, fluconazole, itraconazole, isavuconazole, ravuconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole, teronazole, terbinafine, amorolfine, naftifine, butenafine, anidulafungin, caspofungin, micafungin, ciclopirox, flucytosine, griseofulvin, Gentian violet, haloprogin, tolnaftate, undecylenic acid, and others.
  • [0090]
    In some embodiments, the composition further comprises an inert and physiologically-acceptable carrier or diluent, enzymes, anti-microbial agents (anti-bacterial agents, anti-fungal agents, etc.), vasoconstrictors (such as epinephrine, naphazoline hydrochloride, tetrahydrozoline, etc.), acids (such as boric acid, hydrochloric acid, etc.), bases (such as sodium hydroxide, etc.), salts (such as sodium, potassium, calcium, etc.), polymers, alcohols (such as polyvinyl alcohol), cellulose or starch, dextrose, mannose, sucrose, or other carbohydrates; glycoproteins, proteins, polypeptides or peptides, colors, fragrances, preservatives (such as edentate disodium, chlorhexidine gluconate, etc.), or a mixture thereof. In other related embodiments, the composition further comprises an active pharmaceutical drug or therapeutic drug substance or an active cosmetic substance. In one particular embodiment, the pharmaceutical or therapeutic drug comprises an antihistamine, such as pheniramine maleate.
  • [0091]
    Gas-enriched fluids produced in accordance with the disclosed invention may also be used to decontaminate or wash away contaminants from a tissue, intact and/or ex vivo. In certain embodiments, higher levels of gas (e.g. oxygen) in the fluid (e.g. water) may provide for additional benefits when cleaning and/or decontaminating wounds.
  • [0092]
    Particular embodiments provided herein relate to a diffuser-processed gas-enriched fluid as defined herein, comprising: a fluid host material; an infusion material diffused into the host material; and optionally, at least one cosmetic and/or therapeutic agent dispersed in the host material. In certain embodiments, the infusion material comprises oxygen micro-bubbles in the host fluid, wherein the majority of the micro-bubbles are less than 0.2 microns, or preferably less than 0.1 microns in size.
  • [0093]
    In certain embodiments, the dissolved oxygen level in the infused fluid host material may be maintained at greater than 30 parts per million at atmospheric pressure for at least 13 hours. In other particular embodiments, the dissolved oxygen level in the infused fluid host material may be maintained at greater than 40 ppm at atmospheric pressure for at least 3 hours. In further embodiments, the infused fluid host material maintains a dissolved oxygen level of at least 20 ppm for a period of at least 100 days, preferably 365 days within a sealed container at atmospheric pressure.
  • [0094]
    In certain embodiments, the infused fluid host material may have a dissolved oxygen level of at least 50 parts per million at atmospheric pressure.
  • [0095]
    In certain embodiments, the infused fluid host material exhibits Rayleigh scattering for a laser beam shining therethrough for a selected period of time after the oxygen has been diffused therein.
  • [0096]
    By using the diffuser device described herein with respect to exemplary embodiments illustrated in the corresponding figures, an output fluid may be achieved having a gas diffused therein that has a number of characteristics and provides a number of advantages for use as a therapeutic composition. Solutions have been created using freshwater, saline, distilled, deionized, double distilled, and/or double distilled deionized water, oxygen, nitrogen and other components. Experiments have indicated that oxygen bubbles produced within saline solution are generally no greater than approximately 0.1 micron in size.
  • [0097]
    Wound Healing Activity of the Inventive Gas-Enriched Fluids and Solutions:
  • [0098]
    According to certain aspects of the present invention, the gas-enriched fluids and/or solutions disclosed herein have anti-inflammatory properties and effects, and can be used as anti-inflammatory agents for the treatment of subjects afflicted by diseases or disorders relating to inflammation. FIG. 42 shows the experimental results of cytokine profiles in stimulated lymphocytes from a healthy blood donor. As can be seen in FIG. 42, the inventive oxygen-enriched fluid (water) affected a down regulation of particular cytokines, especially IL-6, IL-8, and IL-1β.
  • [0099]
    Increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines has been implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Secretion of TNFα is a primary event in the initiation of the inflammatory cascade (Brennan F. M., et. al. Lancet, 1989, 2:244-7; Haworth C, et. al. Eur. J. Immunol. 1991, 21:2575-2579) and directly contributes to the initiation and maintenance of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Other pro-inflammatory cytokines also play a role, including interleukin 1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-8, IL-12 nitric oxide, IFN-γ and GM-CSF, while anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10 may reduce disease. Cells of the immune system, macrophages in particular, secrete many of these cytokines in response to activating stimuli.
  • [0100]
    A variety of cell types are involved in the inflammatory process. Overproduction of TNFα by monocytes, macrophages and other immune cells is a key element in the pathogenesis of a multitude of diseases. Macrophages and T-cells in particular play a central role in the initiation and maintenance of the immune response. Once activated by pathological or immunogenic stimuli, macrophages respond by releasing a host of cytokines, including TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-8, IL-12, nitric oxide (NO), IL-6, GM-CSF, G-CSF, M-CSF and others. T-cells release IL-2, IL-4, INF-γ, and other inflammatory cytokines. These cytokines activate other immune cells and some can also act as independent cytotoxic agents. Excessive release of macrophage and T-cell derived inflammatory mediators can particularly lead to damage of normal cells and surrounding tissues.
  • [0101]
    Pro-inflammatory cytokines have been implicated in HIV-AIDS, and other viral infections including the cytomegalovirus, influenza virus and the herpes family of viruses. TNFα enhances the basal activity of the major immediate early enhancer/promoter of human cytomegalovirus and may play a role in reactivation of latent HCMV infection in premonocytic cells (Prosch S., et. al. Virology 1995, 208:197-206).
  • [0102]
    Additionally, a number of inflammatory cytokines contribute to mortality in patients suffering from sepsis or endotoxic shock. For example, TNFα and IL-1β have a well-established central role in sepsis, septic shock and endotoxic shock. Increased levels of these cytokines are associated with fever, hypotension and shock (Smith J. W. et. al. J. Clin. Oncol. 1992, 10:1141-1152; Chapman P. B., et. al. J. Clin. Oncol. 1987, 5:1942-1951) together with the induction of gene expression for phospholipase A2 (Gronich J., et. al. J. Clin. Invest. 1994, 93:1224-1233) and NO synthase.
  • [0103]
    The induction of NO from smooth muscle cells mediates decreased mean arterial pressure and systemic vascular resistance during septic shock, suggesting a fundamental role for NO. Thus, therapies that target downregulatory effects on IL-8, IL-1β, and NO could be beneficial in the treatment of inflammatory diseases or disorders, including sepsis, septic shock, and endotoxic shock.
  • [0104]
    Overproduction of TNFα contributes to the clinical features of numerous autoimmune diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is also precipitated by increased IL-1β and TNFα levels. Within lupus patients, serum C-reactive protein, IL-1.beta and TNFα levels were higher than in controls, suggesting that an increased inflammatory response plays a role in the disease (Liou L. B. Clin. Exp. Rheumatol. 2001, 19:515-523). A study of patients with one form of SLE, neuropsychiatric lupus erythematosus (NPLE), showed that the number of peripheral blood mononuclear cells expressing mRNA for TNFα as well as the cerebrospinal fluid level of NO metabolites correlated with NPLE disease severity (Svenungsson E., et al. Ann. Rheum. Dis. 2001, 60:372-9).
  • [0105]
    IL-1 and TNFα play a central role in various acute as well as chronic responses in animal models. Additionally, IL-11, IFNα and IFNβ may also up-regulate inflammatory reactions. Conversely, several cytokines may be involved in down-regulation of inflammatory responses (i.e. IL-4, IL-10, IL-13, among others). As set forth in Example 1, cells contacted with the inventive gas-enriched fluid showed an increase in IFN-γ levels with T3 antigen than in the control culture media with T3 antigen, while IL-8 was lower in the inventive gas-enriched culture media with T3 antigen than in the control culture media with T3 antigen. Additionally, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α levels were lower in the inventive gas-enriched media with PHA, than in the control media with PHA, while IL-1β levels were lower in the inventive gas-enriched fluid with PHA when compared with control media with PHA. In the inventive gas-enriched media alone, IFN-γ levels were higher than in control media. These results are consistent with an anti-inflammatory microenvironment.
  • [0106]
    NO is recognized as a mediator and regulator of inflammatory responses. It possesses cytotoxic properties toward pathogens, but can also have deleterious effects on the subject's own tissues. (Korhonen et al., Curr Drug Targets Inflamm Allergy 4(4): 471-9, 2005). NO reacts with soluble guanylate cyclase to form cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which mediates many of the effects of NO. NO can also interact with molecular oxygen and superoxide anion to produce reactive oxygen species that can modify various cellular functions. These indirect effects of NO have a significant role in inflammation, where NO is produced in high amounts by inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and reactive oxygen species are synthesized by activated inflammatory cells.
  • [0107]
    NO can be produced by keratinocytes, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and possibly others. Some of the vascular actions of NO include vasodilation, inhibiting platelet adhesion to the vascular endothelium, inhibiting leukocyte adhesion to the vascular endothelium, and scavenging superoxides. (Shah et al., Env. Health Persp. v. 106 (5): 1139-1143.)
  • [0108]
    Furthermore, inhibition of NO synthesis has been shown to delay wound contraction, alter collagen organization, and alter neoepidermis thickness. (Amadeu and Costa, J. Cutan. Pathol 33: 465-473, 2006.) Mast cell migration and angiogenesis in wounds is also affected by inhibition of NO. (Id.) Without being bound to any particular theory of mechanism, in certain embodiments the inventive gas-enriched fluids may be modulating localized and/or cellular NO production, or degradation, consistent with the spectrum of wound healing effects illustrated in the Examples section disclosed herein. Due to variable pathways of regulation, in certain embodiments, the inventive gas-enriched fluid may increase NO production and/or retard NO degradation, whereas in other certain embodiments, the inventive gas-enriched fluid may decrease NO production and/or hasten NO degradation.
  • [0109]
    Specifically, wounds treated with oxygen-enriched saline solution showed an increase in wound healing at days 4 through 11, and between days 3 and 11, the new epidermis in wounds treated with the oxygen-enriched saline solution migrated at two to four times as fast as the epidermis of the wounds treated with the normal saline solution, as set forth in Example 9 herein. The study also showed that between 15 and 22 days, wounds treated by the oxygen-enriched saline solution differentiated at a more rapid rate as evidenced by the earlier formation of more mature epidermal layers. At all stages, the thickening that occurs in the epidermis associated with normal healing did not occur within the wounds treated by the oxygen-enriched saline solution.
  • [0110]
    Thus, in accordance with this spectrum of wound healing effects, but without wishing to be bound by any particular theory, it is believed that the oxygen-enriched saline solution may modulate the localized and/or cellular level of NO within the wounds. NO modulates growth factors, collagen deposition, inflammation, mast cell migration, epidermal thickening, and neovascularization in wound healing. Furthermore, nitric oxide is produced by an inducible enzyme that is regulated by oxygen.
  • [0111]
    In the case of mast cell migration, differences also occurred in early and late migration for the oxygen-enriched solution. This is consistent with what is known in the art regarding inhibition of NO synthesis (Amadeu and Costa, J. Cutan Pathol 33: 465-473, 2006).
  • [0112]
    Referring now to FIG. 45 a through FIG. 45 h, various illustrations compare the wound healing results of the porcine epidermal tissues with or without oxygen-enriched saline solution. As can be seen, the healing of the control wound and of the wound using the oxygen-enriched saline solution was followed for days 1, 4 and 16.
  • [0113]
    FIG. 45 a illustrates the wound healing for the control wound on day 1. As can be seen, the wound shows epidermal/dermal thickening and a loss of contour. FIG. 45 b illustrates the wound healing on day 1 for the wound treated using the oxygen-enriched saline solution. The wound shows normal epidermal/dermal thickness and normal contouring is typical on a new wound.
  • [0114]
    Referring now to FIGS. 45 c and 45 d, there are illustrated the wound healing for the control wound on day 4 and the wound healing for the wound treated with the oxygen-enriched saline solution on day 4. For the control wound illustrated in FIG. 45 c, the wound shows a 600 micron epidermal spur. In the wound treated with the oxygen-enriched saline solution in FIG. 45 d, there is illustrated a 1200 micron epidermal spur. Thus, in the first 4 days of the experiment, the epidermal spur created in the wound treated using the oxygen-enriched saline solution shows an epidermal growth rate of twice of that of the wound that was not treated with the oxygen-enriched saline solution.
  • [0115]
    Referring now to FIG. 45 e, there is illustrated the control wound at day 16. The wound shows less differentiated epidermis with loss of epidermal/dermal contour than that illustrated by the wound treated with the oxygen-enriched saline solution illustrated in FIG. 45 f. FIG. 45 f shows more differentiated epidermis and more normal epidermal/dermal contouring in the wound.
  • [0116]
    In the first two phases of the inflammatory process, the foreign body is either destroyed, for example, if the foreign body is an organism, or the tissue around it is loosened, for example, if it is a splinter. In the healing phase, the inflammation begins to subside; individual blood vessels and vascular patterns become normal once again; and repair of the wound commences. The three main events in the repair process are (1) formation of new connective tissue by proliferating fibroblasts; (2) regeneration of epithelium; and (3) outgrowth of new capillaries.
  • [0117]
    Even before the inflammation subsides, fibroblasts begin moving into the injured area from the surrounding normal tissue, where they usually exist in a dormant state. They migrate by an amoeboid movement along strands of fibrin and distribute themselves throughout the healing area. Once fixed into position in the injured tissue, they begin to synthesize collagen and secrete this protein, which arranges itself into fibers. The fibers orient themselves with their longitudinal axes in the direction of the greatest stress. As the collagen bundles grow in firmness, the fibroblasts gradually degenerate and attach closely to the bundles, and the injured area transforms into scar tissue.
  • [0118]
    Simultaneously with scar tissue formation, the intact epidermal cells on the edge of the wound begin to proliferate and move, as one sheet, toward the center of the injured area. As the inflammation subsides, a need for a direct supply of blood arises, and angiogenesis occurs at the wound site.
  • [0119]
    Inflammation is a complex process that involves multiple cell types. For example, mast cells release mediators that trigger an early phase of vasodilation, accompanied by the separation of endothelial cells and exposure of collagen fibers in the subendothelial layer. Fibers in the intercellular gaps that form in blood vessels trap platelets and trigger the release of mediators from these cells.
  • [0120]
    In addition to platelets, the exposed collagen fibers also interact with proteins of the plasma that filter through the pores of the dilated vessel wall, including the triggering factor of the blood-clotting cascade, increased vasodilation, increased blood vessel permeability, and chemotaxis.
  • [0121]
    Additionally, the complement cascade can be activated by several stimuli: the injured blood vessels, the proteolytic enzymes released by the damaged cells, the membrane components of any participating bacteria, and antigen-antibody complexes. Some of the activated complement components act as chemotactic factors, responsible for the influx of leukocytes into the inflamed area, while others facilitate phagocytosis and participate in cell lysis.
  • [0122]
    In addition, it is believed that the inventive gas-enriched fluids or solutions may also regulate at least one cytokine involved in at least one aspect of inflammation, the cytokine(s) including, but not limited to MAF (macrophage activating factor), MMIF (macrophage migration inhibition factor), MCF (macrophage chemotactic factor), LMIF (leukocyte migration inhibition factor), HRFs (histamine releasing factors), TF (transfer factors), interleukins (IL-1, IL-2, IL-3, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-9, IL-10, IL-11, IL-12, IL-13, IL-14, IL-15, etc.), TNF-α, TNF-β, interferons (IFN-α, IFN-β, IFN-γ, IFN-ζ, IFN-δ, etc.), G-CSF (granulocyte colony stimulating factor), GM-CSF (granulocyte-macrophage CSF), M-CSF (macrophage CSF), multi-CSF (IL-3), fibroblast growth factor (aFGF, bFGF), EGF (epidermal growth factor), NGF (nerve growth factor), PDGF (platelet-derived growth factor), VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), transforming growth factors (TGF-α, TGF-β, etc.), NAP-2 (neutrophil-activating protein 2), PF-4 (platelet factor 4), thromboglobulin, MCP-1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein 1), MCP-3, MIP-1α, MIP-1β-+ (macrophage inflammatory proteins), RANTES (regulated upon activation normal T expressed and presumably secreted chemokine), HSPs (heat shock proteins), GRPs (glucose-regulated proteins), ubiquitin, and others.
  • [0123]
    Thus, in certain embodiments, the gas-enriched fluids and/or therapeutic compositions may increase production and/or secretion of anti-inflammatory molecules or cytokines or decrease the degradation of anti-inflammatory molecules or cytokines, thereby alleviating or preventing at least one symptom of inflammation. In other embodiments, the gas-enriched fluids and/or therapeutic compositions of the present invention may decrease production and/or secretion of pro-inflammatory molecules or cytokines or increase the degradation of pro-inflammatory molecules or cytokines, thereby alleviating or preventing at least one symptom of inflammation.
  • [0124]
    Previous studies had shown a critical role of anti-MOG antibodies in augmentation of demyelination and worsening of EAE (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis), an animal model system for the human autoimmune disorder of rheumatoid arthritis. (Linington, et al. 1992. J. Neuroimmunol. 40:219-224). Additionally, antibodies against MOG have been implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. (Berger et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 2003 Jul. 10; 349(2):139-45).
  • [0125]
    As set forth in FIG. 52 and Example 18, the inventive gas-enriched fluid of the present invention amplifies the lymphocyte response to an antigen for which an animal was previously primed. As indicated in FIG. 52, lymphocyte proliferation was greater for response to MOG challenge when cultured in fluid reconstituted with the inventive gas-enriched fluid comprising solvated electrons, when compared with pressurized, oxygenated fluid (pressure pot) or control deionized fluid.
  • Bubble Size Measurements
  • [0126]
    Experimentation was performed to determine a size of the bubbles of gas diffused within the fluid by the mixing device 100. While experiments were not performed to measure directly the size of the bubbles, experiments were performed that established that the bubble size of the majority of the gas bubbles within the fluid was smaller than 0.1 microns. In other words, the experiments determined a size threshold value below which the sizes of the majority of bubbles fall.
  • [0127]
    This size threshold value or size limit was established by passing the output material 102 formed by processing a fluid and a gas in the mixing device 100 through a 0.22 filter and a 0.1 micron filter. In performing these tests, a volume of the first material 110, in this case, a fluid, and a volume of the second material 120, in this case, a gas, were passed through the mixing device 100 to generate a volume of the output material 102 (i.e., a fluid having a gas diffused therein). Sixty milliliters of the output material 102 was drained into a 60 ml syringe. The DO level of the fluid was measured via the Winkler Titration. The fluid within the syringe was injected through a 0.22 micron filter into a 50 ml beaker. The filter comprised the Milipor Millex GP50 filter. The DO level of the material in the 50 ml beaker was then measured. The experiment was performed three times to achieve the results illustrated in Table II below.
  • [0000]
    TABLE II
    DO AFTER
    DO IN SYRINGE 0.22 MICRON FILTER
    42.1 ppm 39.7 ppm
    43.4 ppm 42.0 ppm
    43.5 ppm 39.5 ppm
  • [0128]
    As can be seen, the DO levels measured within the syringe and the DO levels measured within the 50 ml beaker were not changed drastically by passing the output material 102 through the 0.22 micron filter. The implication of this experiment is that the bubbles of dissolved gas within the output material 102 are not larger than 0.22 microns otherwise there would be a significantly greater reduction in the DO levels in the output material 102 passed through the 0.22 micron filter.
  • [0129]
    A second test was performed in which the 0.1 micron filter was substituted for the 0.22 micron filter. In this experiment, saline solution was processed with oxygen in the mixing device 100 and a sample of the output material 102 was collected in an unfiltered state. The DO level of the unfiltered sample was 44.7 ppm. The output material 102 was filtered using the 0.1 micron filter and two additional samples were collected. The DO level of the first sample was 43.4 ppm. The DO level of the second sample was 41.4 ppm. Then, the filter was removed and a final sample was taken from the unfiltered output material 102. The final sample had a DO level of 45.4 ppm. These results were consistent with those seen using the Millipore 0.22 micron filter. These results lead to the conclusion that there is a trivial reduction in the DO levels of the output material 102 passed through the 0.1 micron filter providing an indication that the majority of the bubbles in the processed saline solution are no greater than 0.1 micron in size.
  • [0130]
    As appreciated in the art, the double-layer (interfacial) (DL) appears on the surface of an object when it is placed into a liquid. This object, for example, might be that of a solid surface (e.g., rotor and stator surfaces), solid particles, gas bubbles, liquid droplets, or porous body. In the mixing device 100, bubble surfaces represent a significant portion of the total surface area present within the mixing chamber that may be available for electrokinetic double-layer effects. Therefore, in addition to the surface area and retention time aspects discussed elsewhere herein, the relatively small bubble sizes generated within the mixer 100 compared to prior art devices 10, may also contribute, at least to some extent, to the overall electrokinetic effects and output fluid properties disclosed herein. Specifically, in preferred embodiments, as illustrated by the mixer 100, all of the gas is being introduced via apertures on the rotor (no gas is being introduced through stator apertures. Because the rotor is rotating at a high rate (e.g., 3,400 rpm) generating substantial shear forces at and near the rotor surface, the bubble size of bubbles introduced via, and adjacent to the spinning rotor surface apertures would be expected to be substantially (e.g., 2 to 3-times smaller) smaller than those introduced via and near the stationary stator. The average bubble size of the prior art device 10 may, therefore, be substantially larger because at least half of the gas is introduced into the mixing chamber from the stationary stator apertures. Because the surface area of a sphere surface varies with r2, any such bubble component of the electrokinetic surface area of the mixing device 100 may be substantially greater than that of the prior art diffusion device 10.
  • [0131]
    Therefore, without being bound by theory, not only does the mixing chamber of the mixing device 100 have (i) a substantially higher surface to volume ratio than that of the prior art device 10 (the prior art device 10 has a ratio of surface to volume of 10.9, whereas the present mixer 100 has a surface to volume ratio of 39.4), along with (ii) a 7-fold greater dwell-time, but (iii) the unique properties of the current output solutions may additionally reflect a contribution from the substantially larger bubble surface area in the mixing device 100. These distinguishing aspects reflect distinguishing features of the present mixer 100, and likely each contribute to the unique electrokinetic properties of the inventive output materials/fluids.
  • [0132]
    Compositions Comprising Hydrated (Solvated) Electrons Imparted to the Inventive Compositions by the Inventive Processes
  • [0133]
    In certain embodiments as described herein (see under “Double-layer”), the gas-enriched fluid is generated by the disclosed electromechanical processes in which molecular oxygen is diffused or mixed into the fluid and may operate to stabilize charges (e.g., hydrated (solvated) electrons) imparted to the fluid. Without being bound by theory or mechanism, certain embodiments of the present invention relate to a oxygen-enriched fluid (output material) comprising charges (e.g., hydrated (solvated) electrons) that are added to the materials as the first material is mixed with oxygen in the inventive mixer device to provide the combined output material. According to particular aspects, these hydrated (solvated) electrons (alternately referred to herein as ‘solvated electrons’) are stabilized in the inventive solutions as evidenced by the persistence of assayable effects mediated by these hydrated (solvated) electrons. Certain embodiments may relate to hydrated (solvated) electrons and/or water-electron structures, clusters, etc. (See, for example, Lee and Lee, Bull. Kor. Chem. Soc. 2003, v. 24, 6; 802-804; 2003).
  • [0134]
    Novel HRP based assay. Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) is isolated from horseradish roots (Amoracia rusticana) and belongs to the ferroprotoporphyrin group (Heme group) of peroxidases. HRP readily combines with hydrogen peroxide or other hydrogen donors to oxidize the pyrogallol substrate. Additionally, as recognized in the art, HRP facilitates auto-oxidative degradation of indole-3-acetic acid in the absence of hydrogen peroxide (see, e.g., Heme Peroxidases, H. Brian Dunford, Wiley-VCH, 1999, Chapter 6, pages 112-123, describing that auto-oxidation involves a highly efficient branched-chain mechanism; incorporated herein by reference in its entirety). The HRP reaction can be measured in enzymatic activity units, in which Specific activity is expressed in terms of pyrogallol units. One pyrogallol unit will form 1.0 mg purpurogallin from pyrogallol in 20 sec at pH 6.0 at 20° C. This purpurogallin (20 sec) unit is equivalent to approx. 18 μM units per min at 25° C.
  • [0000]
  • [0135]
    According to particular aspects of the present invention, the oxygen-enriched inventive fluids (output materials) have been described and disclosed herein to react with pyrogallol in the presence of horseradish peroxidase. The reaction is most likely based on an auto-oxidation of the pyrogallol, since no hydrogen peroxide, superoxide, or other reactive oxygen species has been detected in oxygen-enriched inventive fluid. The extent of this reaction is greater than that of pressurized oxygen solutions (pressure-pot oxygen solutions) and less than that of hydrogen peroxide.
  • [0136]
    Specifically, the present applicants have determined that while there is no hydrogen peroxide (none detected at a sensitivity of 0.1 ppm), the inventive gas-enriched fluid may be consistently characterized by its facilitation of the apparent auto-oxidation of pyrogallol to purpurogallin in the presence of horseradish peroxidase enzyme (HRP). That is, like the case of HRP facilitation of the autoxidative degradation of indole-3-acietic acid in the absence of hydrogen peroxide, applicants have discovered HRP facilitation of the autoxidative degradation of pyrogallol in the absence of hydrogen peroxide. According to particular aspects, the presence and level of this activity are distinguishing features of the inventive compositions in view of the prior art.
  • [0137]
    In certain embodiments, the inventive gas-enriched fluid facilitates, in the presence of HRP and absence of hydrogen peroxide, a pyrogallol auto-oxidation rate (under standard conditions as defined herein under “Definitions”) equivalent to approximately 0.5 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 0.8 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 1 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 2 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 3 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 4 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 5 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 6 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 7 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 8 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 9 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 10 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 11 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 12 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 20 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 40 ppm of hydrogen peroxide, approximately 50 ppm of hydrogen peroxide or any value therebetween or greater.
  • [0138]
    It is known that Horseradish peroxidase enzyme catalyzes the auto-oxidation of pyrogallol by way of facilitating reaction with the molecular oxygen in a fluid. (Khajehpour et al., PROTEINS: Struct, Funct, Genet. 53: 656-666 (2003)). It is also known that oxygen binds the heme pocket of horseradish peroxidase enzyme through a hydrophobic pore region of the enzyme (between Phe68 and Phe142), whose conformation likely determines the accessibility of oxygen to the interior. Without being bound by mechanism, because surface charges on proteins are known in the protein art to influence protein structure, it is possible that the solvated electrons present in the inventive gas-enriched fluid act to alter the conformation of the horseradish peroxidase such that greater oxygen accessibility results. The greater accessibility of oxygen to the prosthetic heme pocket of the horseradish peroxidase enzyme in turn would allow for increased reactivity with pyrogallol, when compared with prior art oxygen-enriched fluids (pressure-pot, fine-bubbled). Alternatively, the added or solvated electrons of the present output compositions may be acting in other ways to enable facilitation of the apparent auto-oxidation of pyrogallol to purpurogallin in the presence of horseradish peroxidase enzyme (HRP).
  • [0139]
    In any event, according to particular aspects, production of output material using the inventive methods and devices comprises a process involving: an interfacial double layer that provides a charge gradient; movement of the materials relative to surfaces pulling charge (e.g., electrons) away from the surface by virtue of a triboelectric effect, wherein the flow of material produces a flow of solvated electrons. Moreover, according to additional aspects, and without being bound by mechanism, the orbital structure of diatomic oxygen creates charge imbalances (e.g., the two unpaired electrons affecting the hydrogen bonding of the water) in the hydrogen bonding arrangement within the fluid material (water), wherein electrons are solvated and stabilized within the imbalances.
  • [0140]
    The inventive combination of oxygen-enrichment and solvated electrons imparted by the double-layer effects and configuration of the presently claimed devices facilitates the auto-oxidation of pyrogallol in the presence of HRP, which is a distinguishing feature of the present inventive output material compositions that can be readily monitored and quantified by way of optical density. Typically, the inventive oxygen-enriched compositions are characterized in that they provide for about a 20% higher optical density read-out in the standard assay compared to either pressurized (pressure pot) or fine-bubbled control fluid have equivalent dissolved oxygen concentrations.
  • [0141]
    Pyrogallol Reactivity Test
  • [0142]
    An aliquot of the inventive oxygen-enriched output material was tested for peroxidase activity by using a commercially available horseradish peroxidase and a pyrogallol assay (Sigma). Briefly, pyrogallol stock solution was prepared with deionized water. Pyrogallol measures peroxidase activity of the horseradish peroxidase enzyme on the fluid as it reacts with a substrate (such as hydrogen peroxide), to yield purpurogallin and water. Test fluid with horseradish peroxidase, pyrogallol and the appropriate potassium phosphate buffer were compared with other fluids. Hydrogen peroxide served as the positive control. The other fluids tested were water that was oxygen-enriched and pressurized in a pressure pot, up to 100 psi to reach the desired dissolved oxygen level (Pressure Pot), while the other fluid was oxygen-enriched with an air stone in an open beaker (Fine Bubble). All fluids tested were maintained at room temperature, and measured approximately 55 ppm dissolved oxygen level (by FOXY probe). Water samples were tested by adding the enzymatic reagents. Continuous spectrophotometric rate determination was made at A420 nm, and room temperature (25° Celsius).
  • [0143]
    As indicated in FIGS. 39A-39E, the inventive oxygen-enriched fluid tested positive for reactivity with horseradish peroxidase by pyrogallol, while the pressure pot and fine bubbled water samples had far less reactivity. As indicated in FIG. 39E, oxygen is required for the reaction with pyrogallol in the presence of horseradish peroxidase, as inventive fluid enriched with other gases did not react in the same manner.
  • [0144]
    Several chemical tests of the inventive oxygen-enriched fluid for the presence of hydrogen peroxide were conducted, as described herein, and none of these tests were positive (sensitivity of 0.1 ppm hydrogen peroxide). Thus, the inventive oxygen-enriched fluid of the instant application provides for peroxidase facilitated auto-oxidation activity in the absence of hydrogen peroxide.
  • [0145]
    In particular embodiments, Applicants have determined that the horseradish peroxidase effect remains at least up to seven hours after opening of the bottle in which it is stored. In other embodiments, Applicants have determined that the horseradish peroxidase effect remains after opening of closed container after 105 days of storage in the closed container. By contrast, in other embodiments, Applicants have determined that when testing equivalent dissolved oxygen levels made with just pressurizing fluid (pressure pot fluids), the decline of a background HRP effect takes place rapidly, declining precipitously in under 4 hours.
  • [0146]
    Glutathione Peroxidase Study
  • [0147]
    The inventive oxygen-enriched output fluid material was tested for the presence of hydrogen peroxide by testing the reactivity with glutathione peroxidase using a standard assay (Sigma). Water samples were tested by adding the enzymatic reagents. Continuous spectrophotometric rate determination was made at A340 nm, and room temperature (25° Celsius). Samples tested were: 1. deionized water (negative control), 2. inventive oxygen-enriched fluid at low concentration, 3. inventive oxygen-enriched fluid at high concentration, 4. hydrogen peroxide (positive control). As illustrated in FIG. 40, the hydrogen peroxide positive control showed a strong reactivity, while none of the other fluids tested reacted with the glutathione.
  • [0148]
    Differential DNA Thermostability
  • [0149]
    Particular embodiments of the present invention provide another distinguishing feature of the present inventive compositions. Specifically, applicants have discovered that there is a differential thermostability of nucleic acids associated with the inventive output fluids compared to control fluids. For example, the T7 promoter primer 5′-d(TAATACGACTCACTATAGGG)-3′ (SEQ ID NO:1) when measured in the inventive oxygen-enriched output materials relative to non-enriched deionized water. As the temperature of the water increases, the DNA oligomeric structure performs a conformational change. As illustrated in FIG. 38, consent with the art recognized melting temperature for this oligo of about 48° C., the T7 DNA begins to denature at about 50° Celsius in the control (deionized water), whereas the DNA in the oxygen-enriched inventive fluid remains intact until about 60° Celsius. Thus, the inventive oxygen-enriched fluid comprising solvated electrons imparts a higher thermostability for DNA when compared to control fluid, and provides a further distinguishing feature of the present inventive output material compositions that can be readily monitored and quantified by way of optical density measurements.
  • [0150]
    Device for Generating Gas-Enriched Fluids or Solutions
  • [0151]
    Description of the Related Art
  • [0152]
    FIG. 1 provides a partial block diagram, partial cross-sectional view of a prior art device 10 for diffusing or emulsifying one or two gaseous or liquid materials (“infusion materials”) into another gaseous or liquid material (“host material”) reproduced from U.S. Pat. No. 6,386,751, incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. The device 10 includes a housing configured to house a stator 30 and a rotor 12. The stator 30 encompasses the rotor 12. A tubular channel 32 is defined between the rotor 12 and the stator 30. The generally cylindrically shaped rotor 12 has a diameter of about 7.500 inches and a length of about 6.000 inches providing a length to diameter ratio of about 0.8.
  • [0153]
    The rotor 12 includes a hollow cylinder, generally closed at both ends. A gap exists between each of the first and second ends of the rotor 12 and a portion of the housing 34. A rotating shaft 14 driven by a motor 18 is coupled to the second end of the rotor 12. The first end of the rotor 12 is coupled to an inlet 16. A first infusion material passes through the inlet 16 and into the interior of the rotor 12. The first infusion material passes from the interior of the rotor 12 and into the channel 32 through a plurality of openings 22 formed in the rotor 12.
  • [0154]
    The stator 30 also has openings 22 formed about its circumference. An inlet 36 passes a second infusion material to an area 35 between the stator 30 and the housing 34. The second infusion material passes out of the area 35 and into the channel 32 through openings 22.
  • [0155]
    An external pump (not shown) is used to pump the host material into a single inlet port 37. The host material passes through a single inlet port 37 and into the channel 32 where it encounters the first and second infusion materials, which enter the channel 32 through openings 22. The infusion materials may be pressurized at their source to prevent the host material from passing through openings 22.
  • [0156]
    The inlet port 37, is configured and positioned such that it is located along only a relatively small portion (<about 5%) of the annular inlet channel 32, and is substantially parallel to the axis of rotation of the rotor 12 to impart an axial flow toward a portion of the channel 32 into the host material.
  • [0157]
    Unfortunately, before entering the tubular channel 32, the host material must travel in tortuous directions other than that of the axial flow (e.g., including in directions substantially orthogonal thereto) and down into and between the gap formed between the first end of the rotor 12 and the housing 34 (i.e., down a portion of the first end of the rotor adjacent to the inlet 16 between the end of the rotor 12 and the housing 34). The non-axial and orthogonal flow, and the presence of the host material in the gap between the first end of the rotor 12 and the housing 34 causes undesirable and unnecessary friction. Further, it is possible for a portion of the host material to become trapped in eddy currents swirling between the first end of the rotor and the housing. Additionally, in the device 10, the host material must negotiate at least two right angles to enter any aspect of the annual of the annular inlet of the tubular channel 32.
  • [0158]
    A single outlet port 40 is formed in the housing 34. The combined host material and infusion material(s) exit the channel 32 via the outlet 40. The outlet port 40, which is also located along only a limited portion (<about 5%) of the annular outlet of tubular channel 32, is substantially parallel to the axis of rotation of the rotor 12 to impart or allow for an axial flow of the combined materials away from the limited portion of the annular outlet of tubular channel 32 into the outlet port 40. An external pump 42 is used to pump the exiting fluid through the outlet port 40.
  • [0159]
    Unfortunately, before exiting the channel 32, a substantial portion of the exiting material must travel in a tortuous direction other than that of the axial flow (e.g., including in directions substantially orthogonal thereto) and down into and between the gap formed between the second end of the rotor 12 and the housing 34 (i.e., down a portion of the second end of the rotor adjacent to the shaft 14 between the end of the rotor 12 and the housing 34). As mentioned above, the non-axial and orthogonal flow, and the presence of the host material in the other gap between the end (in this case, the second end) of the rotor 12 and the housing 34 causes additional undesirable and unnecessary friction. Further, it is possible for a portion of the host material to become trapped in eddy currents swirling between the second end of the rotor and the housing. Additionally, in the device 10, a substantial portion of the exiting combined material must negotiate at least two right angles as it exits form the annular exit of the tubular channel 32 into the outlet port 40.
  • [0160]
    As is apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, the inlet port 37 imparts only an axial flow to the host material. Only the rotor 21 imparts a circumferential flow into the host material. Further, the outlet port 40 imparts or provides for only an axial flow into the exiting material. Additionally, the circumferential flow velocity vector is imparted to the material only after it enters the annular inlet 37 of the tubular channel 32, and subsequently the circumferential flow vector must be degraded or eliminated as the material enters the exit port 40. There is, therefore, a need for a progressive circumferential acceleration of the material as it passes in the axial direction through the channel 32, and a circumferential deceleration upon exit of the material from the channel 32. These aspects, in combination with the tortuous path that the material takes from the inlet port 37 to the outlet port 40, create a substantial friction and flow resistance over the path that is accompanied by a substantial pressure differential (26 psi, at 60 gallons/min flow rate) between the inlet 37 and outlet 40 ports, and these factors, inter alia, combine to reduce the overall efficiency of the system.
  • [0161]
    Electrokinetically Oxygen-Enriched Fluids and Solutions
  • [0162]
    FIG. 2 provides a block diagram illustrating some of the components of a mixing device 100 and the flow of material into, within, and out of the device. The mixing device 100 combines two or more input materials to form an output material 102, which may be received therefrom into a storage vessel 104. The mixing device 100 agitates the two or more input materials in a novel manner to produce an output material 102 having novel characteristics. The output material 102 may include not only a suspension of at least one of the input materials in at least one of the other input materials (e.g., emulsions) but also a novel combination (e.g., electrostatic combinations) of the input materials, a chemical compound resulting from chemical reactions between the input materials, combinations having novel electrostatic characteristics, and combinations thereof.
  • [0163]
    The input materials may include a first material 110 provided by a source 112 of the first material, a second material 120 provided by a source 122 of the second material, and optionally a third material 130 provided by a source 132 of the third material. The first material 110 may include a liquid, such as water, saline solution, chemical suspensions, polar liquids, non-polar liquids, colloidal suspensions, cell growing media, and the like. In some embodiments, the first material 110 may include the output material 102 cycled back into the mixing device 100. The second material 120 may consist of or include a gas, such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, sulfur gas, nitrous oxide, nitric oxide, argon, helium, bromine, and combinations thereof, and the like. In preferred embodiments, the gas is or comprises oxygen. The optional third material 130 may include either a liquid or a gas. In some embodiments, the third material 130 may be or include the output material 102 cycled back into the mixing device 100 (e.g., to one or more of the pumps 210, 220 or 230, and/or into the chamber 310, and/or 330).
  • [0164]
    Optionally, the first material 110, the second material 120, and the optional third material 130 may be pumped into the mixing device 100 by an external pump 210, an external pump 220, and an external pump 230, respectively. Alternatively, one or more of the first material 110, the second material 120, and the optional third material 130 may be stored under pressure in the source 112, the source 122, and the source 132, respectively, and may be forced into the mixing device 100 by the pressure. The invention is not limited by the method used to transfer the first material 110, the second material 120, and optionally, the third material 130 into the mixing device 100 from the source 112, the source 122, and the source 132, respectively.
  • [0165]
    The mixing device 100 includes a first chamber 310 and a second chamber 320 flanking a mixing chamber 330. The three chambers 310, 320, and 330 are interconnected and form a continuous volume.
  • [0166]
    The first material 110 is transferred into the first chamber 310 and flows therefrom into the mixing chamber 330. The first material 110 in the first chamber 310 may be pumped into the first chamber 310 by an internal pump 410. The second material 120 is transferred into the mixing chamber 330. Optionally, the third material 130 may be transferred into the mixing chamber 330. The materials in the mixing chamber 330 are mixed therein to form the output material 102. Then, the output material 102 flows into the second chamber 320 from which the output material 102 exits the mixing device 100. The output material 102 in the mixing chamber 330 may be pumped into the second chamber 320 by an internal pump 420. Optionally, the output material 102 in the second chamber 320 may be pumped therefrom into the storage vessel 104 by an external pump 430 (e.g., alone or in combination with the internal pump 410 and/or 420).
  • [0167]
    In particular aspects, a common drive shaft 500 powers both the internal pump 410 and the internal pump 420. The drive shaft 500 passes through the mixing chamber 330 and provides rotational force therein that is used to mix the first material 110, the second material 120, and optionally, the third material 130 together. The drive shaft 500 is powered by a motor 510 coupled thereto.
  • [0168]
    FIG. 3 provides a system 512 for supplying the first material 110 to the mixing device 100 and removing the output material 102 from the mixing device 100. In the system 512, the storage vessel 104 of the output material 102 and the source 112 of the first material 110 are combined. The external pump 210 is coupled to the combined storage vessel 104 and source 112 by a fluid conduit 514 such as hose, pipe, and the like. The external pump 210 pumps the combined first material 110 and output material 102 from the combined storage vessel 104 and source 112 through the fluid conduit 514 and into a fluid conduit 516 connecting the external pump 210 to the mixing device 100. The output material 102 exits the mixing device 100 through a fluid conduit 518. The fluid conduit 518 is coupled to the combined storage vessel 104 and source 112 and transports the output material 102 exiting the mixing device 100 to the combined storage vessel 104 and source 112. The fluid conduit 518 includes a valve 519 that establishes an operating pressure or back pressure within the mixing device 100.
  • [0169]
    Referring to FIGS. 2 and 4-11, a more detailed description of various components of an embodiment of the mixing device 100 will be provided. The mixing device 100 is scalable. Therefore, dimensions provided with respect to various components may be used to construct an embodiment of the device or may be scaled to construct a mixing device of a selected size.
  • [0170]
    Turning to FIG. 4, the mixing device 100 includes a housing 520 that houses each of the first chamber 310, the mixing chamber 330, and the second chamber 320. As mentioned above, the mixing device 100 includes the drive shaft 500, which rotates during operation of the device. Therefore, the mixing device 100 may vibrate or otherwise move. Optionally, the mixing device 100 may be coupled to a base 106, which may be affixed to a surface such as the floor to maintain the mixing device 100 in a substantially stationary position.
  • [0171]
    The housing 520 may be assembled from two or more housing sections. By way of example, the housing 520 may include a central section 522 flanked by a first mechanical seal housing 524 and a second mechanical seal housing 526. A bearing housing 530 may be coupled to the first mechanical seal housing 524 opposite the central section 522. A bearing housing 532 may be coupled to the second mechanical seal housing 526 opposite the central section 522. Optionally, a housing section 550 may be coupled to the bearing housings 530.
  • [0172]
    Each of the bearing housings 530 and 532 may house a bearing assembly 540 (see FIGS. 5 and 6). The bearing assembly 540 may include any suitable bearing assembly known in the art including a model number “202SZZST” manufactured by SKF USA Inc, of Kulpsville, Pa., operating a website at www.skf.com.
  • [0173]
    Seals may be provided between adjacent housing sections. For example, o-ring 560 (see FIG. 5) may be disposed between the housing section 550 and the bearing housing 530, o-ring 562 (see FIG. 5) may be disposed between the first mechanical seal housing 524 and the central section 522, and o-ring 564 (see FIG. 6) may be disposed between the second mechanical seal housing 526 and the central section 522.
  • Mixing Chamber 330
  • [0174]
    Turning now to FIG. 7, the mixing chamber 330 is disposed inside the central section 522 of the housing 520 between the first mechanical seal housing 524 and the second mechanical seal housing 526. The mixing chamber 330 is formed between two components of the mixing device 100, a rotor 600 and a stator 700. The rotor 600 may have a sidewall 604 with an inside surface 605 defining a generally hollow inside portion 610 and an outside surface 606. The sidewall 604 may be about 0.20 inches to about 0.75 inches thick. In some embodiments, the sidewall 604 is about 0.25 inches thick. However, because the mixing device 100 may be scaled to suit a particular application, embodiments of the device having a sidewall 604 that is thicker or thinner than the values provided are within the scope of the present teachings. The sidewall 604 includes a first end portion 612 and a second end portion 614 and a plurality of through-holes 608 formed between the first end portion 612 and the second end portion 614. Optionally, the outside surface 606 of the sidewall 604 may include other features such as apertures, projections, textures, and the like. The first end portion 612 has a relieved portion 616 configured to receive a collar 618 and the second end portion 614 has a relieved portion 620 configured to receive a collar 622.
  • [0175]
    The rotor 600 is disposed inside the stator 700. The stator 700 has a sidewall 704 with an inside surface 705 defining a generally hollow inside portion 710 into which the rotor 600 is disposed. The sidewall 704 may be about 0.1 inches to about 0.3 inches thick. In some embodiments, the sidewall 604 is about 1.5 inches thick. The stator 700 may be non-rotatably coupled to the housing 520 in a substantially stationary position. Alternatively, the stator 700 may integrally formed with the housing 520. The sidewall 704 has a first end portion 712 and a second end portion 714. Optionally, a plurality of apertures 708 are formed in the sidewall 704 of the stator 700 between the first end portion 712 and the second end portion 714. Optionally, the inside surface 705 of the sidewall 704 may include other features such as through-holes, projections, textures, and the like.
  • [0176]
    The rotor 600 rotates with respect to the stationary stator 700 about an axis of rotation “α” in a direction indicated by arrow “C3” in FIG. 9. Each of the rotor 600 and the stator 700 may be generally cylindrical in shape and have a longitudinal axis. The rotor 600 has an outer diameter “D1” and the stator 700 may have an inner diameter “D2.” The diameter “D1” may range, for example, from about 0.5 inches to about 24 inches. In some embodiments, the diameter “D1” is about 3.04 inches. In some embodiments, the diameter “D1” is about 1.7 inches. The diameter “D2,” which is larger than the diameter “D1,” may range from about 0.56 inches to about 24.25 inches. In some embodiments, the diameter “D2” is about 4 inches. Therefore, the mixing chamber 330 may have a ring-shaped cross-sectional shape that is about 0.02 inches to about 0.125 inches thick (i.e., the difference between the diameter “D2” and the diameter “D1”). In particular embodiments, the mixing chamber 330 is about 0.025 inches thick. The channel 32 between the rotor 12 and the stator 34 of prior art device 10 (see FIG. 1) has a ring-shaped cross-sectional shape that is about 0.09 inches thick. Therefore, in particular embodiments, the thickness of the mixing chamber 330 is less than about one third of the channel 32 of the prior art device 10.
  • [0177]
    The longitudinal axis of the rotor 600 may be aligned with its axis of rotation “α.” The longitudinal axis of the rotor 600 may be aligned with the longitudinal axis of the stator 700. The rotor 600 may have a length of about 3 inches to about 6 inches along the axis of rotation “α.” In some embodiments, the rotor 600 may have a length of about 5 inches along the axis of rotation “α.” The stator 700 may have a length of about 3 inches to about 6 inches along the axis of rotation “α.” In some embodiments, the stator 700 may have a length of about 5 inches along the axis of rotation “α.”
  • [0178]
    While the rotor 600 and the stator 700 have been depicted as having a generally cylindrical shape, those of ordinary skill in the art appreciate that alternate shapes may be used. For example, the rotor 600 and the stator 700 may be conically, spherically, arbitrarily shaped, and the like. Further, the rotor 600 and the stator 700 need not be identically shaped. For example, the rotor 600 may be cylindrically shaped and the stator 700 rectangular shaped or vise versa.
  • [0179]
    The apertures 708 of the stator 700 and the through-holes 608 depicted in FIGS. 4-7 are generally cylindrically shaped. The diameter of the through-holes 608 may range from about 0.1 inches to about 0.625 inches. The diameter of the apertures 708 may range from about 0.1 inches to about 0.625 inches. One or more of apertures 708 of the stator 700 may have a diameter that differs from the diameters of the other apertures 708. For example, the apertures 708 may increase in diameter from the first end portion 712 of the stator 700 to the second end portion 714 of the stator 700, the apertures 708 may decrease in diameter from the first end portion 712 of the stator 700 to the second end portion 714 of the stator 700, or the diameters of the apertures 708 may vary in another manner along the stator 700. One or more of through-holes 608 of the rotor 600 may have a diameter that differs from the diameters of the other through-holes 608. For example, the through-holes 608 may increase in diameter from the first end portion 612 of the rotor 600 to the second end portion 614 of the rotor 600, the through-holes 608 may decrease in diameter from the first end portion 612 of the rotor 600 to the second end portion 614 of the rotor 600, or the diameters of the through-holes 608 may vary in another manner along the rotor 600.
  • [0180]
    As described below with reference to alternate embodiments, the apertures 708 and the through-holes 608 may have shapes other than generally cylindrical and such embodiments are within the scope of the present invention. For example, the through-holes 608 may include a narrower portion, an arcuate portion, a tapered portion, and the like. Referring to FIG. 7, each of the through-holes 608 includes an outer portion 608A, a narrow portion 608B, and a tapered portion 608C providing a transition between the outer portion 608A and the narrow portion 608B. Similarly, the apertures 708 may include a narrower portion, an arcuate portion, a tapered portion, and the like.
  • [0181]
    FIG. 8 provides a non-limiting example of a suitable arrangement of the apertures 708 of the stator 700 and the through-holes 608 of the rotor 600. The apertures 708 of the stator 700 may be arranged in substantially parallel lateral rows “SLAT-1” through “SLAT-6” substantially orthogonal to the axis of rotation “α.” The apertures 708 of the stator 700 may also be arranged in substantially parallel longitudinal rows “SLONG-1” through “SLONG-7” substantially parallel with the axis of rotation “α.” In other words, the apertures 708 of the stator 700 may be arranged in a grid-like pattern of orthogonal rows (i.e., the lateral rows are orthogonal to the longitudinal rows) having the longitudinal rows “SLONG-1” through “SLONG-7” substantially parallel with the axis of rotation “α.”
  • [0182]
    Like the apertures 708 of the stator 700, the through-holes 608 of the rotor 600 may be arranged in substantially parallel lateral rows “RLAT-1” through “RLAT-6” substantially orthogonal to the axis of rotation “α.” However, instead of being arranged in a grid-like pattern of orthogonal rows, the through-holes 608 of the rotor 600 may also be arranged in substantially parallel rows “RLONG-1” through “RLONG-7” that extend longitudinally along a helically path. Alternatively, the through-holes 608 of the rotor 600 may also be arranged in substantially parallel rows “RLONG-1” through “RLONG-7” that extend longitudinally at an angle other than parallel with the axis of rotation “α.”
  • [0183]
    The apertures 708 of the stator 700 and the through-holes 608 of the rotor 600 may be configured so that when the rotor 600 is disposed inside the stator 700 the lateral rows “SLAT-1” to “SLAT-6” at least partially align with the lateral rows “RLAT-1” to “RLAT-6,” respectively. In this manner, as the rotor 600 rotates inside the stator 700, the through-holes 608 pass by the apertures 708.
  • [0184]
    The through-holes 608 in each of the lateral rows “RLAT-1” to “RLAT-6” may be spaced apart laterally such that all of the through-holes 608 in the lateral row align, at least partially, with the apertures 708 in a corresponding one of the lateral rows “SLAT-1” to “SLAT-6” of the stator 700 at the same time. The longitudinally extending rows “RLONG-1” through “RLONG-6” may be configured such that the through-holes 608 in the first lateral row “RLAT-1” in each of the longitudinally extending rows passes completely by the apertures 708 of the corresponding lateral row “SLAT-1” before the through-holes 608 in the last lateral row “RLAT-6” begin to partially align with the apertures 708 of the corresponding last lateral row “SLAT-6” of the stator 700.
  • [0185]
    While, in FIG. 8, six lateral rows and six longitudinally extending rows have been illustrated with respect to the rotor 600 and six lateral rows and seven longitudinally extending rows have been illustrated with respect stator 700, it is apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that alternate numbers of lateral rows and/or longitudinal rows may be used with respect to the rotor 600 and/or stator 700 without departing from the present teachings.
  • [0186]
    To ensure that only one pair of openings between corresponding lateral rows will be coincident at any one time, the number of apertures 708 in each of the lateral rows “SLAT-1” to “SLAT-6” on the stator 700 may differ by a predetermined number (e.g., one, two, and the like) the number of through-holes 608 in each of the corresponding lateral rows “RLAT-1” to “RLAT-6” on the rotor 600. Thus, for example, if lateral row “RLAT-1” has twenty through-holes 608 evenly spaced around the circumference of rotor 600, the lateral row “SLAT-1” may have twenty apertures 708 evenly spaced around the circumference of stator 700.
  • [0187]
    Returning to FIG. 7, the mixing chamber 330 has an open first end portion 332 and an open second end portion 334. The through-holes 608 formed in the sidewall 604 of the rotor 600 connect the inside portion 610 of the rotor 600 with the mixing chamber 330.
  • [0188]
    The rotor 600 is rotated inside the stator 700 by the drive shaft 500 aligned with the axis of rotation “α” of the rotor 600. The drive shaft 500 may be coupled to the first end portion 612 and the second end portion 614 of the rotor 600 and extend through its hollow inside portion 610. In other words, a portion 720 of the drive shaft 500 is disposed in the hollow inside portion 610 of the rotor 600.
  • [0189]
    The collar 618 is configured to receive a portion 721 of the drive shaft 500 disposed in the hollow inside portion 610 and the collar 622 is configured to receive a portion 722 of the drive shaft 500 disposed in the hollow inside portion 610.
  • [0190]
    The portion 721 has an outer diameter “D3” that may range from about 0.5 inches to about 2.5 inches. In some embodiments, the diameter “D3” is about 0.625 inches. The portion 722 has an outer diameter “D4” that may be substantially similar to the diameter “D3,” although, this is not required. The diameter “D4” may range from about 0.375 inches to about 2.5 inches.
  • [0191]
    The rotor 600 may be non-rotationally affixed to the portion 721 and the portion 722 of the drive shaft 500 by the collar 618 and the collar 622, respectively. By way of example, each of the collars 618 and 622 may be installed inside relieved portions 616 and 620, respectively. Then, the combined rotor 600 and collars 618 and 622 may be heated to expand them. Next, the drive shaft 500 is inserted through the collars 618 and 622 and the assembly is allowed to cool. As the collars 618 and 622 shrink during cooling, they tighten around the portions 722A and 722B of the drive shaft 500, respectively, gripping it sufficiently tightly to prevent the drive shaft 500 from rotating relative to the rotor 600. The collar 618, which does not rotate with respect to either the portion 721 or the relieved portion 616, translates the rotation of the drive shaft 500 to the first end portion 612 the rotor 600. The collar 622, which does not rotate with respect to either the portion 722 or the relieved portion 620, translates the rotation of the drive shaft 500 to the second end portion 614 of the rotor 600. The drive shaft 500 and the rotor 600 rotate together as a single unit.
  • [0192]
    The drive shaft 500 may have a first end portion 724 (see FIG. 5) and a second end portion 726 (see FIG. 6). The first end portion 724 may have a diameter “D5” of about 0.5 inches to about 1.75 inches. In particular embodiments, the diameter “D5” may be about 1.25 inches. The second end portion 726 may have a diameter “D6” that may be substantially similar to diameter “D5.”
  • [0193]
    The second material 120 may be transported into the mixing chamber 330 through one of the first end portion 724 and the second end portion 726 of the rotating drive shaft 500. The other of the first end portion 724 and the second end portion 726 of the drive shaft 500 may be coupled to the motor 510. In the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6, the second material 120 is transported into the mixing chamber 330 through the first end portion 724 and the second end portion 726 of the drive shaft 500 is coupled to the motor 510.
  • [0194]
    Turning to FIG. 5, the drive shaft 500 may have a channel 728 formed therein that extends from first end portion 724 into the portion 720 disposed in the inside portion 610 of the rotor 600. The channel 728 has an opening 730 formed in the first end portion 724. When the mixing device 100 is operating, the second material 120 is introduced into the channel 728 through the opening 730.
  • [0195]
    A valve 732 may be disposed inside a portion of the channel 728 located in the first end portion 724 of the drive shaft 500. The valve 732 may restrict or otherwise control the backward flow of the second material 120 from inside the hollow inside portion 610 through the channel 728 and/or the forward flow of the second material 120 into the channel 728. The valve 732 may include any valve known in the art including a check valve. A suitable check valve includes a part number “CKFA1876205A,” free flow forward check valve, manufactured by The Lee Company USA having an office in Bothell, Wash. and operating a website at www.theleeco.com.
  • [0196]
    The drive shaft 500 may include an aperture 740 located in the inside portion 610 of the rotor 600 that connects the channel 728 with the inside portion 610 of the rotor 600. While only a single aperture 740 is illustrated in FIG. 5, it is apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that multiple apertures may be used to connect the channel 728 with the inside portion 610 of the rotor 600.
  • [0197]
    Referring to FIG. 2, optionally, the external pump 220 may pump the second material 120 into the mixing device 100. The pump 220 may include any suitable pump known in the art. By way of non-limiting example, the pump 220 may include any suitable pump known in the art including a diaphragm pump, a chemical pump, a peristaltic pump, a gravity fed pump, a piston pump, a gear pump, a combination of any of the aforementioned pumps, and the like. If the second material 120 is a gas, the gas may be pressurized and forced into the opening 730 formed in the first end portion 724 of the drive shaft 500 by releasing the gas from the source 122.
  • [0198]
    The pump 220 or the source 122 is coupled to the channel 728 by the valve 732. The second material 120 transported inside the channel 728 exits the channel 728 into the inside portion 610 of the rotor 600 through the aperture 740. The second material 120 subsequently exits the inside portion 610 of the rotor 600 through the through-holes 608 formed in the sidewall 608 of the rotor 600.
  • [0199]
    Referring to FIG. 5, the mixing device 100 may include a seal assembly 750 coupled to the first end portion 724 of the drive shaft 500. The seal assembly 750 is maintained within a chamber 752 defined in the housing 520. The chamber 752 has a first end portion 754 spaced across the chamber from a second end portion 756. The chamber 752 also includes an input port 758 and an output port 759 that provide access into the chamber 752. The chamber 752 may be defined by housing section 550 and the bearing housing 530. The first end portion 754 may be formed in the housing section 550 and the second end portion 756 may be adjacent to the bearing housing 530. The input port 758 may be formed in the bearing housing 530 and the output port 759 may be formed in the housing section 550.
  • [0200]
    The seal assembly 750 includes a first stationary seal 760 installed in the first end portion 754 of the chamber 752 in the housing section 550 and the bearing housing 530. The first stationary seal 760 extends around a portion 762 of the first end portion 724 of the drive shaft 500. The seal assembly 750 also includes a second stationary seal 766 installed in the second end portion 756 of the chamber 752 in the bearing housing 530. The second stationary seal 766 extends around a portion 768 of the first end portion 724 of the drive shaft 500.
  • [0201]
    The seal assembly 750 includes a rotating assembly 770 that is non-rotatably coupled to the first end portion 724 of the drive shaft 500 between the portion 762 and the portion 768. The rotating assembly 770 rotates therewith as a unit. The rotating assembly 770 includes a first seal 772 opposite a second seal 774. A biasing member 776 (e.g., a spring) is located between the first seal 772 and the second seal 774. The biasing member 776 biases the first seal 772 against the first stationary seal 760 and biases the second seal 774 against the second stationary seal 766.
  • [0202]
    A cooling lubricant is supplied to the chamber 752 and around rotating assembly 770. The lubricant enters the chamber 752 through the input port 758 and exits the chamber 752 through output port 759. The lubricant may lubricate the bearing assembly 540 housed by the bearing housing 530. A chamber 570 may be disposed between the bearing housing 530 and the mechanical seal housing 524. The bearing housing 530 may also include a second input port 759 connected to the chamber 570 into which lubricant may be pumped. Lubricant pumped into the chamber 570 may lubricate the bearing assembly 540. The seal assembly 750 may significantly, if not greatly, reduce frictional forces within this portion of the device caused by the rotation of the rotor 600 and may increase the active life of the seals 770. The seals may include surfaces constructed using silicon carbide.
  • [0203]
    Referring to FIG. 9, as the rotor 600 rotates about the axis of rotation “a” in the direction indicated by arrow “C1,” the rotor expels the second material 120 into the mixing chamber 330. The expelled bubbles, droplets, particles, and the like of the second material 120 exit the rotor 600 and are imparted with a circumferential velocity (in a direction indicated by arrow “C3”) by the rotor 600. The second material 120 may forced from the mixing chamber 330 by the pump 220 (see FIG. 2), the centrifugal force of the rotating rotor 600, buoyancy of the second material 120 relative to the first material 110, and a combination thereof.
  • Motor 510
  • [0204]
    Returning to FIG. 6, the second end portion 726 of the drive shaft 500 may be coupled to a rotating spindle 780 of a motor 510 by a coupler 900. The spindle 780 may have a generally circular cross-sectional shape with a diameter “D7” of about 0.25 inches to about 2.5 inches. In particular embodiments, the diameter “D7” may be about 0.25 inches to about 1.5 inches. While in the embodiment depicted in FIG. 6, the diameter “D5” of the first end portion 724 of the drive shaft 500 is substantially equal to the diameter “D7” and the spindle 780, embodiments in which one of the diameter “D5” and the diameter “D7” is larger than the other are within the scope of the present invention.
  • [0205]
    Referring also to FIG. 4, it may be desirable to cover or shield the coupler 900. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 6, a drive guard 910 covers the coupler 900. The drive guard 910 may be generally U-shaped having a curved portion 914 flanked by a pair of substantially linear portions 915 and 916. The distal end of each of the substantially linear portions 915 and 916 of the drive guard 910 may have a flange 918 and 919, respectively. The drive guard 910 may be fastened by each of its flanges 918 and 919 to the base 106.
  • [0206]
    The motor 510 may be supported on the base 106 by a support member 920. The support member 920 may be coupled to the motor 510 near the spindle 780. In the embodiment depicted, the support member 920 includes a through-hole through which the spindle 780 passes. The support member 920 may be coupled to the motor 510 using any method known in the art, including bolting the support member 920 to the motor 510 with one or more bolts 940.
  • [0207]
    The coupler 900 may include any coupler suitable for transmitting a sufficient amount of torque from the spindle 780 to the drive shaft 500 to rotate the rotor 600 inside to the stator 700. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 6, the coupler 900 is a bellows coupler. A bellows coupler may be beneficial if the spindle 780 and the drive shaft 500 are misaligned. Further, the bellows coupler may help absorb axial forces exerted on the drive shaft 500 that would otherwise be translated to the spindle 780. A suitable bellows coupler includes a model “BC32-8-8-A,” manufactured by Ruland Manufacturing Company, Inc. of Marlborough, Mass., which operates a website at www.ruland.com.
  • [0208]
    The motor 510 may rotate the rotor 600 at about 0.1 revolutions per minute (“rpm”) to about 7200 rpm. The motor 510 may include any motor suitable for rotating the rotor 600 inside to the stator 700 in accordance with the present teachings. By way of non-limiting example, a suitable motor may include a one-half horsepower electric motor, operating at 230/460 volts and 3450 per minute (“rpm”). A suitable motor includes a model “C4T34NC4C” manufactured by LEESON Electric Corporation of Grafton, Wis., which operates a website at www.leeson.com.
  • First Chamber 310
  • [0209]
    Turning to FIGS. 4 and 7, the first chamber 320 is disposed inside the central section 522 of the housing 520 between the first mechanical seal housing 524 and the first end portions 612 and 712 of the rotor 600 and the stator 700, respectively. The first chamber 310 may be annular and have a substantially circular cross-sectional shape. The first chamber 310 and the mixing chamber 330 form a continuous volume. A portion 1020 of the drive shaft 500 extends through the first chamber 310.
  • [0210]
    As may best be viewed in FIG. 4, the first chamber 310 has an input port 1010 through which the first material 110 enters the mixing device 100. The first material 110 may be pumped inside the first chamber 310 by the external pump 210 (see FIG. 2). The external pump 210 may include any pump known in the art for pumping the first material 110 at a sufficient rate to supply the first chamber 310.
  • [0211]
    The input port 1010 is oriented substantially orthogonally to the axis of rotation “α.” Therefore, the first material 110 enters the first chamber 310 with a velocity tangential to the portion 1020 of the drive shaft 500 extending through the first chamber 310. The tangential direction of the flow of the first material 110 entering the first chamber 310 is identified by arrow “T1.” In the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 4 and 7, the input port 1010 may be offset from the axis of rotation “α.” As is apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, the direction of the rotation of the drive shaft 500 (identified by arrow “C1” in FIG. 9), has a tangential component. The input port 1010 is positioned so that the first material 110 enters the first chamber 310 traveling in substantially the same direction as the tangential component of the direction of rotation of the drive shaft 500.
  • [0212]
    The first material 110 enters the first chamber 310 and is deflected by the inside of the first chamber 310 about the portion 1020 of the drive shaft 500. In embodiments wherein the first chamber 310 has a substantially circular cross-sectional shape, the inside of the first chamber 310 may deflect the first material 110 in a substantially circular path (identified by arrow “C2” in FIG. 9) about the portion 1020 of the drive shaft 500. In such an embodiment, the tangential velocity of the first material 110 may cause it to travel about the axis of rotation “α” at a circumferential velocity, determined at least in part by the tangential velocity.
  • [0213]
    Once inside the first chamber 310, the first material 110 may be pumped from the first chamber 310 into the mixing chamber 330 by the pump 410 residing inside the first chamber 310. In embodiments that include the external pump 210 (see FIG. 2), the external pump 210 may be configured to pump the first material 110 into the first chamber 310 at a rate at least as high as a rate at which the pump 410 pumps the first material 110 from the first chamber 310.
  • [0214]
    The first chamber 310 is in communication with the open first end portion 332 of the mixing chamber 330 and the first material 110 inside the first chamber 310 may flow freely into the open first end portion 332 of the mixing chamber 330. In this manner, the first material 110 does not negotiate any corners or bends between the mixing chamber 330 and the first chamber 310. In the embodiment depicted, the first chamber 310 is in communication with the entire open first end portion 332 of the mixing chamber 330. The first chamber 310 may be filled completely with the first material 110.
  • [0215]
    The pump 410 is powered by the portion 1020 of the drive shaft 500 extending through the first chamber 310. The pump 410 may include any pump known in the art having a rotating pump member 2022 housed inside a chamber (i.e., the first chamber 310) defined by a stationary housing (i.e., the housing 520). Non-limiting examples of suitable pumps include rotary positive displacement pumps such as progressive cavity pumps, single screw pumps (e.g., Archimedes screw pump), and the like.
  • [0216]
    The pump 410 depicted in FIGS. 7 and 9, is generally referred to as a single screw pump. In this embodiment, the pump member 2022 includes a collar portion 2030 disposed around the portion 1020 of the drive shaft 500. The collar portion 2030 rotates with the portion 1020 of the drive shaft 500 as a unit. The collar portion 2030 includes one or more fluid displacement members 2040. In the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 7 and 9, the collar portion 2030 includes a single fluid displacement member 2040 having a helical shape that circumscribes the collar portion 2030 along a helical path.
  • [0217]
    Referring to FIG. 9, the inside of the first chamber 310 is illustrated. The pump 410 imparts an axial flow (identified by arrow “A1” and arrow “A2”) in the first material 110 inside the first chamber 310 toward the open first end portion 332 of the mixing chamber 330. The axial flow of the first material 110 imparted by the pump 410 has a pressure that may exceed the pressure obtainable by the external pump of the prior art device 10 (see FIG. 1).
  • [0218]
    The pump 410 may also be configured to impart a circumferential flow (identified by arrow “C2”) in the first material 110 as it travels toward the open first end portion 332 of the mixing chamber 330. The circumferential flow imparted in the first material 110 before it enters the mixing chamber 330 causes the first material 110 to enter the mixing chamber 330 already traveling in the desired direction at an initial circumferential velocity. In the prior art device 10 depicted in FIG. 1, the first material 110 entered the channel 32 of the prior art device 10 without a circumferential velocity. Therefore, the rotor 12 of the prior art device 10 alone had to impart a circumferential flow into the first material 110. Because the first material 110 is moving axially, in the prior art device 10, the first material 110 traversed at least a portion of the channel 32 formed between the rotor 12 and the stator 30 at a slower circumferential velocity than the first material 110 traverses the mixing chamber 330 of the mixing device 100. In other words, if the axial velocity of the first material 110 is the same in both the prior art device 10 and the mixing device 100, the first material 110 may complete more revolutions around the rotational axis “α” before traversing the axial length of the mixing chamber 330, than it would complete before traversing the axial length of the channel 32. The additional revolutions expose the first material 110 (and combined first material 110 and second material 120) to a substantially larger portion of the effective inside surface 706 (see FIG. 7) of the stator 700.
  • [0219]
    In embodiments including the external pump 210 (see FIG. 2), the circumferential velocity imparted by the external pump 210 combined with the input port 1010 being oriented according to the present teachings, may alone sufficiently increase the revolutions of the first material 110 (and combined first material 110 and second material 120) about the rotational axis “α.” Further, in some embodiments, the circumferential velocity imparted by the pump 210 and the circumferential velocity imparted by the pump 410 combine to achieve a sufficient number of revolutions of the first material 110 (and combined first material 110 and second material 120) about the rotational axis “α.” As is appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, other structural elements such as the cross-sectional shape of the first chamber 310 may contribute to the circumferential velocity imparted by the pump 210, the pump 410, and a combination thereof.
  • [0220]
    In an alternate embodiment depicted in FIG. 10, the pump 410 may include one or more vanes 2042 configured to impart a circumferential flow in the first material 110 as it travels toward the open first end portion 332 of the mixing chamber 330.
  • Second Chamber 320
  • [0221]
    Turning now to FIGS. 4 and 7, the second chamber 320 is disposed inside the central section 522 of the housing 520 between the second mechanical seal housing 526 and the second end portions 614 and 714 of the rotor 600 and the stator 700, respectively. The second chamber 320 may be substantially similar to the first chamber 310. However, instead of the input port 1010, the second chamber 320 may include an output port 3010. A portion 3020 of the drive shaft 500 extends through the second chamber 320.
  • [0222]
    The second chamber 320 and the mixing chamber 330 form a continuous volume. Further, the first chamber 310, the mixing chamber 330, and the second chamber 320 form a continuous volume. The first material 110 flows through the mixing device 100 from the first chamber 310 to the mixing chamber 330 and finally to the second chamber 320. While in the mixing chamber 330, the first material 110 is mixed with the second material 120 to form the output material 102. The output material 102 exits the mixing device 100 through the output port 3010. Optionally, the output material 102 may be returned to the input port 1010 and mixed with an additional quantity of the second material 120, the third material 130, or a combination thereof.
  • [0223]
    The output port 3010 is oriented substantially orthogonally to the axis of rotation “α” and may be located opposite the input port 1010 formed in the first chamber 310. The output material 102 enters the second chamber 320 from the mixing chamber 330 having a circumferential velocity (in the direction indicated by arrow “C3” in FIG. 9) imparted thereto by the rotor 600. The circumferential velocity is tangential to the portion 3020 of the drive shaft 500 extending through the second chamber 320. In the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 4, 6, and 7, the output port 3010 may be offset from the axis of rotation “α.” The output port 3010 is positioned so that the output material 102, which enters the second chamber 320 traveling in substantially the same direction in which the drive shaft 500 is rotating (identified in FIG. 9 by arrow “C1”), is traveling toward the output port 3010.
  • [0224]
    The output material 102 enters the second chamber 320 and is deflected by the inside of the second chamber 320 about the portion 3020 of the drive shaft 500. In embodiments wherein the second chamber 320 has a substantially circular cross-sectional shape, the inside of the second chamber 320 may deflect the output material 102 in a substantially circular path about the portion 3020 of the drive shaft 500.
  • [0225]
    Referring to FIG. 2, optionally, the output material 102 may be pumped from inside the second chamber 320 by the external pump 430. The external pump 430 may include any pump known in the art for pumping the output material 102 at a sufficient rate to avoid limiting throughput of the mixing device 100. In such an embodiment, the external pump 430 may introduce a tangential velocity (in a direction indicated by arrow “T2” in FIGS. 4 and 11) to at least a portion of the output material 102 as the external pump 430 pumps the output material 102 from the second chamber 320. The tangential velocity of the portion of the output material 102 may cause it to travel about the axis of rotation “α” at a circumferential velocity, determined in part by the tangential velocity.
  • Pump 420
  • [0226]
    Turning to FIGS. 6 and 7, the pump 420 residing inside the second chamber 320 may pump the output material 102 from the second chamber 320 into the output port 3010 and/or from the mixing chamber 330 into the second chamber 320. In embodiments that include the external pump 430, the external pump 430 may be configured to pump the output material 102 from the second chamber 320 at a rate at least as high as a rate at which the pump 420 pumps the output material 102 into the output port 3010.
  • [0227]
    The second chamber 320 is in communication with the open second end portion 334 of the mixing chamber 330 and the output material 102 inside the mixing chamber 330 may flow freely from the open second end portion 334 into the second chamber 320. In this manner, the output material 102 does not negotiate any corners or bends between the mixing chamber 330 and the second chamber 320. In the embodiment depicted, the second chamber 320 is in communication with the entire open second end portion 334 of the mixing chamber 330. The second chamber 320 may be filled completely with the output material 102.
  • [0228]
    The pump 420 is powered by the portion 3020 of the drive shaft 500 extending through the second chamber 320. The pump 420 may be substantially identical to the pump 410. Any pump described above as suitable for use as the pump 410 may be used for the pump 420. While the pump 410 pumps the first material 110 into the mixing chamber 330, the pump 420 pumps the output material 102 from the mixing chamber 330. Therefore, both the pump 410 and the pump 420 may be oriented to pump in the same direction.
  • [0229]
    As is appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, the first material 110 may differ from the output material 102. For example, one of the first material 110 and the output material 102 may be more viscous than the other. Therefore, the pump 410 may differ from the pump 420. The pump 410 may be configured to accommodate the properties of the first material 110 and the pump 420 may be configured to accommodate the properties of the output material 102.
  • [0230]
    The pump 420 depicted in FIGS. 6 and 7, is generally referred to as a single screw pump. In this embodiment, the pump member 4022 includes a collar portion 4030 disposed around the portion 3020 of the drive shaft 500. The collar portion 4030 rotates with the portion 3020 of the drive shaft 500 as a unit. The collar portion 4030 includes one or more fluid displacement members 4040. The collar portion 4030 includes a single fluid displacement member 4040 having a helical shape that circumscribes the collar portion 4030 along a helical path.
  • [0231]
    Referring to FIG. 11, the inside of the second chamber 320 is illustrated. The pump 420 imparts an axial flow (identified by arrow “A3” and arrow “A4”) in the output material 102 inside the second chamber 320 away from the open second end portion 334 of the mixing chamber 330.
  • [0232]
    The pump 420 may be configured to impart a circumferential flow (identified by arrow “C4”) in the output material 102 as it travels away from the open second end portion 334 of the mixing chamber 330. The circumferential flow imparted in the output material 102 may help reduce an amount of work required by the rotor 600. The circumferential flow also directs the output material 102 toward the output port 3010.
  • [0233]
    In an alternate embodiment, the pump 420 may have substantially the same configuration of the pump 410 depicted in FIG. 10. In such an embodiment, the one or more vanes 2042 are configured to impart a circumferential flow in the output material 102 as it travels away from the open second end portion 334 of the mixing chamber 330.
  • [0234]
    As is apparent to those of ordinary skill, various parameters of the mixing device 100 may be modified to obtain different mixing characteristics. Exemplary parameters that may be modified include the size of the through-holes 608, the shape of the through-holes 608, the arrangement of the through-holes 608, the number of through-holes 608, the size of the apertures 708, the shape of the apertures 708, the arrangement of the apertures 708, the number of apertures 708, the shape of the rotor 600, the shape of the stator 700, the width of the mixing chamber 330, the length of the mixing chamber 330, rotational speed of the drive shaft 500, the axial velocity imparted by the internal pump 410, the circumferential velocity imparted by the internal pump 410, the axial velocity imparted by the internal pump 420, the circumferential velocity imparted by the internal pump 420, the configuration of disturbances (e.g., texture, projections, recesses, apertures, and the like) formed on the outside surface 606 of the rotor 600, the configuration of disturbances (e.g., texture, projections, recesses, apertures, and the like) formed on the inside surface 706 of the stator 700, and the like.
  • Alternate Embodiment
  • [0235]
    Referring to FIG. 12, a mixing device 5000 is depicted. The mixing device 5000 is an alternate embodiment of the mixing device 100. Identical reference numerals have been used herein to identify components of the mixing device 5000 that are substantially similar corresponding components of the mixing device 100. Only components of the mixing device 5000 that differ from the components of the mixing device 100 will be described.
  • [0236]
    The mixing device 5000 includes a housing 5500 for housing the rotor 600 and the stator 5700. The stator 5700 may be non-rotatably couple by its first end portion 5712 and its second end portion 5714 to the housing 5500. A chamber 5800 is defined between the housing 5500 and a portion 5820 of the stator 5700 flanked by the first end portion 5712 and the second end portion 5714. The housing 5500 includes an input port 5830 which provides access into the chamber 5800. The input port 5830 may be oriented substantially orthogonally to the axis of rotation “α.” however, this is not a requirement.
  • [0237]
    The stator 5700 includes a plurality of through-holes 5708 that connect the chamber 5800 and the mixing chamber 330 (defined between the rotor 600 and the stator 5700). An external pump 230 may be used to pump the third material 130 (which may be identical to the second material 120) into the chamber 5800 via the input port 5830. The third material 130 pumped into the chamber 5800 may enter the mixing chamber 330 via the through-holes 5708 formed in the stator 5700. The third material 130 may forced from the channel 5800 by the pump 230, buoyancy of the third material 130 relative to the first material 110, and a combination thereof. As the rotor 600 rotates, it may also draw the third material 130 from the channel 5800 into the mixing chamber 330. The third material 130 may enter the mixing chamber 330 as bubbles, droplets, particles, and the like, which are imparted with a circumferential velocity by the rotor 600.
  • Alternate Embodiment
  • [0238]
    An alternate embodiment of the mixing device 100 may be constructed using a central section 5900 depicted in FIG. 13 and a bearing housing 5920 depicted in FIG. 14. FIG. 13 depicts the central section 5900 having in its interior the stator 700 (see FIG. 7). Identical reference numerals have been used herein to identify components associated with the central section 5900 that are substantially similar corresponding components of the mixing device 100. Only components of the central section 5900 that differ from the components of the central section 522 will be described. The central section 5900 and the stator 700 are both constructed from a conductive material such as a metal (e.g., stainless steel). The input port 1010 and the output port 3010 are both constructed from a nonconductive material such as plastic (e.g., PET, Teflon, nylon, PVC, polycarbonate, ABS, Delrin, polysulfone, etc.).
  • [0239]
    An electrical contact 5910 is coupled to the central section 5900 and configured to deliver a charge thereto. The central section 5900 conducts an electrical charge applied to the electrical contact 5910 to the stator 700. In further embodiments, the central section 5900 may be constructed from a nonconductive material. In such embodiments, the electrical contact 5910 may pass through the central section 5900 and coupled to the stator 700. The electric charge applied by the electrical contact 5910 to the stator 700 may help facilitate redox or other chemical reactions inside the mixing chamber 330.
  • [0240]
    Optionally, insulation (not shown) may be disposed around the central section 5900 to electrically isolate it from the environment. Further, insulation may be used between the central section 5900 and the first and second mechanical seals 524 and 526 that flank it to isolate it electrically from the other components of the mixing device.
  • [0241]
    Turning now to FIG. 14, the bearing housing 5920 will be described. The bearing housing 5920 is disposed circumferentially around the portion 726 of the drive shaft 500. An electrical contact 5922 is coupled to the bearing housing 5920. A rotating brush contact 5924 provides an electrical connection between the drive shaft 500 and the electrical contact 5922.
  • [0242]
    In this embodiment, the drive shaft 500 and the rotor 600 are both constructed from a conductive material such as a metal (e.g., stainless steel). The bearing housing 5920 may be constructed from either a conductive or a nonconductive material. An electrical charge is applied to the drive shaft 500 by the electrical contact 5922 and the rotating brush contact 5924. The electrical charge is conducted by the drive shaft 500 to the rotor 600.
  • [0243]
    The alternate embodiment of the mixing device 100 constructed using the central section 5900 depicted in FIG. 13 and the bearing housing 5920 depicted in FIG. 14 may be operated in at least two ways. First, the electrical contacts 5910 and 5922 may be configured not to provide an electrical charge to the stator 700 and the rotor 600, respectively. In other words, neither of the electrical contacts 5910 and 5922 are connected to a current source, a voltage source, and the like.
  • [0244]
    Alternatively, the electrical contacts 5910 and 5922 may be configured to provide an electrical charge to the stator 700 and the rotor 600, respectively. For example, the electrical contacts 5910 and 5922 may be coupled to a DC voltage source (not shown) supplying a steady or constant voltage across the electrical contacts 5910 and 5922. The negative terminal of the DC voltage source may be coupled to either of the electrical contacts 5910 and 5922 and the positive terminal of the DC voltage source may be coupled to the other of the electrical contacts 5910 and 5922. The voltage supplied across the electrical contacts 5910 and 5922 may range from about 0.0001 volts to about 1000 volts. In particular embodiments, the voltage may range from about 1.8 volts to about 2.7 volts. By way of another example, a pulsed DC voltage having a duty cycle of between about 1% to about 99% may be used.
  • [0245]
    While the above examples of methods of operating the mixing device apply a DC voltage across the electrical contacts 5910 and 5922, as is apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, a symmetrical AC voltage or non symmetrical AC voltage having various shapes and magnitudes may be applied across the electrical contacts 5910 and 5922 and such embodiments are within the scope of the present invention.
  • Mixing Inside the Mixing Chamber 330
  • [0246]
    As mentioned above, in the prior art device 10 (shown in FIG. 1), the first material 110 entered the channel 32 between the rotor 12 and the stator 30 via a single limited input port 37 located along only a portion of the open second end of the channel 32. Likewise, the output material 102 exited the channel 32 via a single limited output port 40 located along only a portion of the open first end of the channel 32. This arrangement caused undesirable and unnecessary friction. By replacing the single limited inlet port 37 and the single limited outlet port 40 with the chambers 310 and 320, respectively, friction has been reduced. Moreover, the first material 110 does not negotiate a corner before entering the mixing chamber 330 and the output material 102 does not negotiate a corner before exiting the mixing chamber 330. Further, the chambers 310 and 320 provide for circumferential velocity of the material prior to entering, and after exiting the channel 32.
  • [0247]
    Accordingly, pressure drop across the mixing device 100 has been substantially reduced. In the embodiments depicted in FIGS. 2, 4-9, and 11, the pressure drop between the input port 1010 and the output port 3010 is only approximately 12 psi when the mixing device 100 is configured to produce about 60 gallons of the output material 102 per minute. This is an improvement over the prior art device 10 depicted in FIG. 1, which when producing about 60 gallons of output material per minute was at least 26 psi. In other words, the pressure drop across the mixing device 100 is less than half that experienced by the prior art device 10.
  • [0248]
    According to additional aspects, the inclusion of pumps 410 and 420, which are powered by the drive shaft 500, provides a configuration that is substantially more efficient in mixing materials and that requires less energy than the external pumps used in the prior art.
  • Micro-Cavitation
  • [0249]
    During operation of the mixing device 100, the input materials may include the first material 110 (e.g., a fluid) and the second material 120 (e.g., a gas). The first material 110 and the second material 120 are mixed inside the mixing chamber 330 formed between the rotor 600 and the stator 700. Rotation of the rotor 600 inside the stator 700 agitates the first material 110 and the second material 120 inside the mixing chamber 330. The through-holes 608 formed in the rotor 600 and/or the apertures 708 formed in the stator 700 impart turbulence in the flow of the first material 110 and the second material 120 inside the mixing chamber 330.
  • [0250]
    Without being limited by theory, the efficiency and persistence of the diffusion of the second material 120 into the first material 110 is believed to be caused in part by micro-cavitation, which is described in connection with FIGS. 15-17. Whenever a material flows over a smooth surface, a rather laminar flow is established with a thin boundary layer that is stationary or moving very slowly because of the surface tension between the moving fluid and the stationary surface. The through-holes 608 and optionally, the apertures 708, disrupt the laminar flow and can cause localized compression and decompression of the first material 110. If the pressure during the decompression cycle is low enough, voids (cavitation bubbles) will form in the material. The cavitation bubbles generate a rotary flow pattern 5990, like a tornado, because the localized area of low pressure draws the host material and the infusion material, as shown in FIG. 15. When the cavitation bubbles implode, extremely high pressures result. As two aligned openings (e.g., one of the apertures 708 and one of the through-holes 608) pass one another, a succussion (shock wave) occurs, generating significant energy. The energy associated with cavitation and succussion mixes the first material 110 and the second material 120 together to an extremely high degree, perhaps at the molecular level.
  • [0251]
    The tangential velocity of the rotor 600 and the number of openings that pass each other per rotation may dictate the frequency at which the mixing device 100. It has been determined that operating the mixing device 100 within in the ultrasonic frequency range can be beneficial in many applications. It is believed that operating the mixing device 100 in the ultrasonic region of frequencies provides the maximum succession shock energy to shift the bonding angle of the fluid molecule, which enables it to transport an additional quantity of the second material 120 which it would not normally be able to retain. When the mixing device 100 is used as a diffuser, the frequency at which the mixing device 100 operates appears to affect the degree of diffusion, leading to much longer persistence of the second material 120 (infusion material) in the first material 110 (host material).
  • [0252]
    Referring now to FIG. 15, an alternate embodiment of the rotor 600, rotor 6000 is provided. The cavitations created within the first material 110 in the mixing chamber 330 may be configured to occur at different frequencies along the length of the mixing chamber 330. The frequencies of the cavitations may be altered by altering the number and/or the placement of the through-holes 6608 along the length of the rotor 600. Each of the through-holes 6608 may be substantially similar to the through-holes 608 (discussed above).
  • [0253]
    By way of non-limiting example, the rotor 6000 may be subdivided into three separate exemplary sections 6100, 6200, and 6300. The through-holes 6608 increase in density from the section 6100 to the section 6200, the number of holes in the section 6100 being greater than the number of holes in the section 6200. The through-holes 6608 also increase in density from the section 6200 to the section 6300, the number of holes in the section 6200 being greater than the number of holes in the section 6300. Each of the sections 6100, 6200, and 6300 create succussions within their particular area at a different frequency due to the differing numbers of through-holes 6608 formed therein.
  • [0254]
    By manufacturing the rotor 6000 with a desired number of through-holes 6608 appropriately arranged in a particular area, the desired frequency of the succussions within the mixing chamber 330 may be determined. Similarly, the desired frequency of the cavitations may be determined by a desired number of apertures 708 appropriately arranged in a particular area upon the stator 700 within which the rotor 600 rotates. Further, the desired frequency (or frequencies) of the succussions within the mixing chamber 330 may be achieved by selecting both a particular number and arrangement of the apertures 708 formed in the stator 700 and a particular number and arrangement of the through-holes 608 formed in the rotor 600.
  • [0255]
    FIGS. 19-21, depict various alternative arrangements of the apertures 708 formed in the stator 700 and the through-holes 608 formed in the rotor 600 configured to achieve different results with respect to the cavitations created. FIG. 19 illustrates a configuration in which the apertures 708 and the through-holes 608 are aligned along an axis 7000 that is not parallel with any line (e.g., line 7010) drawn through the axis of rotation “α” of the rotor 600. In other words, if the rotor 600 has a cylindrical shape, the axis 7000 does not pass through the center of the rotor 600. Thus, the first material 110 within the mixing chamber 330 will not be oriented perpendicularly to the compressions and decompressions created by the apertures 708 and the through-holes 608. The compressions and decompressions will instead have a force vector that has at least a component parallel to the circumferential flow (in the direction of arrow “C3” of FIG. 9) of first material 110 within the mixing chamber 330.
  • [0256]
    Relative alignment of the apertures 708 and the through-holes 608 may also affect the creation of cavitations in the mixing chamber 330. FIG. 20 illustrates an embodiment in which the apertures 708 are in registration across the mixing chamber 330 with the through-holes 608. In this embodiment, rotation of the rotor 600 brings the through-holes 608 of the rotor into direct alignment with the apertures 708 of the stator 700. When in direct alignment with each other, the compressive and decompressive forces created by the apertures 708 and the through-holes 608 are directly aligned with one another.
  • [0257]
    In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 21, the apertures 708 and the through-holes 608 are offset by an offset amount “X” along the axis of rotation “α.”. By way of non-limiting example, the offset amount “X” may be determined as a function of the size of the apertures 708. For example, the offset amount “X” may be approximately equal to one half of the diameter of the apertures 708. Alternatively, the offset amount “X” may be determined as a function of the size of the through-holes 608. For example, the offset amount “X” may be approximately equal to one half of the diameter of the through-holes 608. If features (e.g., recesses, projections, etc.) other than or in addition to the through-holes 608 and the apertures 708 are included in either the rotor 600 or the stator 700, the offset amount “X” may be determined as a function of the size of such features. In this manner, the compressive and decompressive forces caused by the apertures 708 of the stator 700 and the through-holes 608 of the rotor 600 collide at a slight offset causing additional rotational and torsional forces within the mixing chamber 330. These additional forces increase the mixing (e.g., diffusive action) of the second material 120 into the first material 110 within the mixing chamber 330.
  • [0258]
    Referring now to FIGS. 22-25, non-limiting examples of suitable cross-sectional shapes for the apertures 708 and the through-holes 608 are provided. The cross-sectional shape of the apertures 708 and/or the through-holes 608 may be square as illustrated in FIG. 22, circular as illustrated in FIG. 23, and the like.
  • [0259]
    Various cross-sectional shapes of apertures 708 and/or the through-holes 608 may be used to alter flow of the first material 110 as the rotor 600 rotates within the stator 700. For example, FIG. 24 depicts a teardrop cross-sectional shape having a narrow portion 7020 opposite a wide portion 7022. If the through-holes 608 have this teardrop shape, when the rotor 600 is rotated (in the direction generally indicated by the arrow “F”), the forces exerted on the first material 110, the second material 120, and optionally the third material 130 within the mixing chamber 330 increase as the materials pass from the wide portion 7022 of the teardrop to the narrow portion 7020.
  • [0260]
    Additional rotational forces can be introduced into the mixing chamber 330 by forming the apertures 708 and/or the through-holes 608 with a spiral configuration as illustrated in FIG. 25. Material that flows into and out of the apertures 708 and/or the through-holes 608 having the spiral configuration experience a rotational force induced by the spiral configuration. The examples illustrated in FIGS. 25-28 are provided as non-limiting illustrations of alternate embodiments that may be employed within the mixing device 100. By application of ordinary skill in the art, the apertures 708 and/or the through-holes 608 may be configured in numerous ways to achieve various succussive and agitative forces appropriate for mixing materials within the mixing chamber 330.
  • Double Layer Effect
  • [0261]
    The mixing device 100 may be configured to create the output material 102 by complex and non-linear fluid dynamic interaction of the first material 110 and the second material 120 with complex, dynamic turbulence providing complex mixing that further favors electrokinetic effects (described below). The result of these electrokinetic effects may be observed within the output material 102 as charge redistributions and redox reactions, including in the form of solvated electrons that are stabilized within the output material.
  • [0262]
    Ionization or dissociation of surface groups and/or adsorption of ions from a liquid cause most solid surfaces in contact with the liquid to become charged. Referring to FIG. 26, an electrical double layer (“EDL”) 7100 forms around exemplary surface 7110 in contact with a liquid 7120. In the EDL 7100, ions 7122 of one charge (in this case, negatively charged ions) adsorb to the surface 7120 and form a surface layer 7124 typically referred to as a Stern layer. The surface layer 7124 attracts counterions 7126 (in this case, positively charged ions) of the opposite charge and equal magnitude, which form a counterion layer 7128 below the surface layer 7124 typically referred to as a diffuse layer. The counterion layer 7128 is more diffusely distributed than the surface layer 7124 and sits upon a uniform and equal distribution of both ions in the bulk material 7130 below. For OH− and H+ ions in neutral water, the Gouy-Chapman model would suggest that the diffuse counterion layer extends about one micron into the water.
  • [0263]
    According to particular aspects, the electrokinetic effects mentioned above are caused by the movement of the liquid 7120 next to the charged surface 7110. Within the liquid 7120 (e.g., water, saline solution, and the like), the adsorbed ions 7122 forming the surface layer 7124 are fixed to the surface 7120 even when the liquid 7120 is in motion (for example, flowing in the direction indicated by arrow “G”); however, a shearing plane 7132 exists within the diffuse counterion layer 7128 spaced from the surface 7120. Thus, as the liquid 7120 moves, some of the diffuse counterions 7126 are transported away from the surface 7120, while the absorbed ions 7122 remain at the surface 7120. This produces a so-called ‘streaming current.’
  • [0264]
    Within the mixing chamber 330, the first material 110, the second material 120, and optionally, the third material 130 are subject to an electromagnetic field created by the inside surface 705 of the stator 700 and/or the outside surface 606 of the rotor 600, a voltage between the inside surface 705 and the outside surface 606, and/or an electrokinetic effect (e.g., streaming current) caused by at least one EDL formed in the first material 110. The at least one EDL may be introduced into the first material 110 by at least one of the inside surface 705 of the stator 700 and the outside surface 606 of the rotor 600.
  • [0265]
    Movement of the first material 110 through the mixing chamber 330 relative to surface disturbances (e.g., the through-holes 608 and apertures 708) creates cavitations in the first material 110 within the mixing chamber 330, which may diffuse the second material 120 into the first material 110. These cavitations may enhance contact between of the first material 110 and/or the second material 120 with the electric double layer formed on the inside surface 705 of the stator 700 and/or the electric double layer formed on the outside surface 606 of the rotor 600. Larger surface to volume ratios of the mixing chamber, an increased dwell time of the combined materials within the mixing chamber, and further in combination with a smaller average bubble size (and hence substantially greater bubble surface area) provide for effectively imparting EDL-mediated effects to the inventive output materials.
  • [0266]
    In embodiments in which the inside surface 705 and the outside surface 606 are constructed from a metallic material, such as stainless steel, the motion of the liquid 7120 and/or the streaming current(s) facilitate redox reactions involving H2O, OH−, H+, and O2 at the inside surface 705 and the outside surface 606.
  • [0267]
    Referring to FIG. 27, without being limited by theory, it is believed a section 7140 of the mixing chamber 330 between the inside surface 705 and the outside surface 606 the may be modeled as a pair of parallel plates 7142 and 7144. If the first material 110 is a liquid, the first material 110 enters the section 7140 through an inlet “IN” and exits the section 7140 through an outlet “OUT.” The inlet “IN” and the outlet “OUT” restrict the flow into and out of the section 7140.
  • [0268]
    Referring to FIG. 28, the area between the parallel plates 7142 and 7144 has a high surface area to volume ratio. Hence, a substantial portion of the counterion layer 7128 (and counterions 7126) may be in motion as the first material 110 moves between the plates 7142 and 7144. The number of counterions 7126 in motion may exceed the number allowed to enter the section 7140 by the inlet “IN” and the number allowed to exit the section 7140 by the outlet “OUT.” The inlet “IN” and the outlet “OUT” feeding and removing the first material 110 from the section 7140, respectively, have far less surface area (and a lower surface area to volume ratio) than the parallel plates 7142 and 7144 and thereby reduce the portion of the counterions 7126 in motion in the first material 110 entering and leaving the section 7140. Therefore, entry and exit from the section 7140 increases the streaming current locally. While a background streaming current (identified by arrow “BSC”) caused by the flowing first material 110 over any surface is always present inside the mixing device 100, the plates 7142 and 7144 introduce an increased “excess” streaming current (identified by arrow “ESC”) within the section 7140.
  • [0269]
    Without a conductive return current (identified by arrow “RC”) in the plates 7142 and 7144 in the opposite direction of the flow of the first material 110, an excess charge 7146 having the same sign as the adsorbing ions 7122 would accumulate near the inlet “1N,” and an excess charge 7148 having the same sign as the counterion 7126 would accumulate near the at outlet “OUT.” Because such accumulated charges 7146 and 7148, being opposite and therefore attracted to one another, cannot build up indefinitely the accumulated charges seek to join together by conductive means. If the plates 7142 and 7144 are perfectly electrically insulating, the accumulated charges 7146 and 7148 can relocate only through the first material 110 itself. When the conductive return current (identified by arrow “RC”) is substantially equivalent to the excess streaming current (identified by arrow “ESC”) in the section 7140, a steady-state is achieved having zero net excess streaming current, and an electrostatic potential difference between the excess charge 7146 near the inlet “IN,” and the excess charge 7148 near the outlet “OUT” creating a steady-state charge separation therebetween.
  • [0270]
    The amount of charge separation, and hence the electrostatic potential difference between the excess charge 7146 near the inlet “1N,” and the excess charge 7148 near the outlet “OUT,” depends on additional energy per unit charge supplied by a pump (e.g., the rotor 600, the internal pump 410, and/or the external pump 210) to “push” charge against the opposing electric field (created by the charge separation) to produce the a liquid flow rate approximating a flow rate obtainable by a liquid without ions (i.e., ions 7122 and 7126). If the plates 7142 and 7144 are insulators, the electrostatic potential difference is a direct measure of the EMF the pump (e.g., the rotor 600, the internal pump 410 and/or the external pump 210) can generate. In this case, one could measure the electrostatic potential difference using a voltmeter having a pair of leads by placing one of the leads in the first material 110 near the inlet “IN,” and the other lead in the first material 110 near the outlet “OUT.”
  • [0271]
    With insulating plates 7142 and 7144, any return current is purely an ion current (or flow of ions), in that the return current involves only the conduction of ions through the first material 110. If other conductive mechanisms through more conductive pathways are present between the excess charge 7146 near the inlet “1N,” and the excess charge 7148 near the outlet “OUT,” the return current may use those more conductive pathways. For example, conducting metal plates 7142 and 7144 may provide more conductive pathways; however, these more conductive pathways transmit only an electron current and not the ion current.
  • [0272]
    As is appreciated by those of ordinary skill, to transfer the charge carried by an ion to one or more electrons in the metal, and vise versa, one or more oxidation-reduction reactions must occur at the surface of the metal, producing reaction products. Assuming the first material 110 is water (H2O) and the second material 120 is oxygen (O2), a non-limiting example of a redox reaction, which would inject negative charge into the conducting plates 7142 and 7144 includes the following known half-cell reaction:
  • [0000]

    O2+H2O→O3+2H++2e ,
  • [0273]
    Again, assuming the first material 110 is water (H2O) and the second material 120 is oxygen (O2), a non-limiting example of a redox reaction includes the following known half-cell reaction, which would remove negative charge from the conducting plates 7142 and 7144 includes the following known half-cell reaction:
  • [0000]

    2H+ +e →H2,
  • [0274]
    With conducting metal plates 7142 and 7144, most of the return current is believed to be an electron current, because the conducting plates 7142 and 7144 are more conductive than the first material 110 (provided the redox reactions are fast enough not to be a limiting factor). For the conducting metal plates 7142 and 7144, a smaller charge separation accumulates between the inlet “IN” and the outlet “OUT,” and a much smaller electrostatic potential exists therebetween. However, this does not mean that the EMF is smaller.
  • [0275]
    As described above, the EMF is related to the energy per unit charge the pump provides to facilitate the flow of the first material 110 against the opposing electric field created by the charge separation. Because the electrostatic potential is smaller, the pump may supply less energy per unit charge to cause the first material 110 to flow. However, the above example redox reactions do not necessarily occur spontaneously, and thus may require a work input, which may be provided by the pump. Therefore, a portion of the EMF (that is not reflected in the smaller electrostatic potential difference) may be used to provide the energy necessary to drive the redox reactions.
  • [0276]
    In other words, the same pressure differentials provided by the pump to push against the opposing electric field created by the charge separation for the insulating plates 7142 and 7144, may be used both to “push” the charge through the conducting plates 7142 and 7144 and drive the redox reactions.
  • [0277]
    Referring to FIG. 29, an experimental setup for an experiment conducted by the inventors is provided. The experiment included a pair of substantially identical spaced apart 500 ml standard Erlenmeyer flasks 7150 and 7152, each containing a volume of deionized water 7153. A rubber stopper 7154 was inserted in the open end of each of the flasks 7150 and 7152. The stopper 7154 included three pathways, one each for a hollow tube 7156, a positive electrode 7158, and a negative electrode 7160. With respect to each of the flasks 7150 and 7152, each of the hollow tube 7156, the positive electrode 7158, and the negative electrode 7160 all extended from outside the flask, through the stopper 7154, and into the deionized water 7153 inside the flask. The positive electrode 7158 and the negative electrode 7160 were constructed from stainless steel. The hollow tubes 7156 in both of the flasks 7150 and 7152 had an open end portion 7162 coupled to a common oxygen supply 7164. The positive electrode 7158 and the negative electrode 7160 inserted into the flask 7152 where coupled to a positive terminal and a negative terminal, respectively, of a DC power supply 7168. Exactly the same sparger was used in each flask.
  • [0278]
    Oxygen flowed through the hollow tubes 7156 into both of the flasks 7150 and 7152 at a flow rate (Feed) of about 1 SCFH to about 1.3 SCFH (combined flow rate). The voltage applied across the positive electrode 7158 and the negative electrode 7160 inserted into the flask 7152 was about 2.55 volts. This value was chosen because it is believed to be an electrochemical voltage value sufficient to affect all oxygen species. This voltage was applied continuously over three to four hours during which oxygen from the supply 7164 was bubbled into the deionized water 7153 in each of the flasks 7150 and 7152.
  • [0279]
    Testing of the deionized water 7153 in the flask 7150 with HRP and pyrogallol gave an HRP-mediated pyrogallol reaction activity, consistent with the properties of fluids produced with the alternate rotor/stator embodiments described herein. The HRP optical density was about 20% higher relative to pressure-pot or fine-bubbled solutions of equivalent oxygen content. The results of this experiment indicate that mixing inside the mixing chamber 330 involves a redox reaction. According to particular aspects, the inventive mixing chambers provide for output materials comprising added electrons that are stabilized by either oxygen-rich water structure within the inventive output solutions, or by some form of oxygen species present due to the electrical effects within the process.
  • [0280]
    Additionally, the deionized water 7153 in both of the flasks 7150 and 7152 was tested for both ozone and hydrogen peroxide employing industry standard calorimetric test ampules with a sensitivity of 0.1 ppm for hydrogen peroxide and 0.6 ppm for ozone. There was no positive indication of either species up to the detection limits of those ampules.
  • [0281]
    Referring now to FIG. 30, there is illustrated the DO levels in water enriched with oxygen in the mixing device 100 and stored in a 500 ml thin-walled plastic bottle and a 1000 ml glass bottle out to at least 365 days. Each of the bottles was capped and stored at 650 Fahrenheit. As can be seen in the figure, the DO levels of the oxygen-enriched fluid remained fairly constant out to at least 365 days.
  • [0282]
    Referring to FIG. 31, there is illustrated the DO levels in water enriched with oxygen in the mixing device 100 and stored in a 500 ml plastic thin-walled bottle and a 1000 ml glass bottle. Both bottles were refrigerated at 390 Fahrenheit. Again, DO levels of the oxygen-enriched fluid remained steady and decreased only slightly out to at least 365 days.
  • [0283]
    Referring now to FIG. 32, there is illustrated the dissolved oxygen levels in GATORADE® enriched with oxygen in the mixing device 100 and stored in 32 oz. GATORADE® bottles having an average temperature of 550 Fahrenheit at capping. The GATORADE® bottles were subsequently refrigerated at 380 Fahrenheit between capping and opening. During the experiment, a different bottle was opened at 20, 60, and 90 days, respectively, to measure the DO levels of the GATORADE® stored therein. Line 8102 represents the DO level of normal (i.e., unprocessed) GATORADE® at 380 Fahrenheit which is slightly less than 10 ppm.
  • [0284]
    The GATORADE® within a first group of GATORADE® bottles was processed with oxygen in the mixing device 100 at approximately 560 Fahrenheit. The DO levels of the GATORADE® at bottling were approximately 50 ppm as indicated by point 8104. A first bottle was opened at approximately 20 days, and the DO level of the GATORADE® was determined to be approximately 47 ppm as indicated by point 8106. A second bottle was then opened at 60 days, and the DO level of the GATORADE® was measured to be approximately 44 ppm as indicated by point 8108. Finally, a third bottle was opened at 90 days, and the DO level of the GATORADE® was determined to be slightly below 40 ppm as indicated by point 8110.
  • [0285]
    The GATORADE® within a second group of GATORADE® bottles was processed with oxygen in the mixing device 100 at approximately 520 Fahrenheit. The initial DO level for GATORADE® stored in this group of bottles was 45 ppm as illustrated by point 8112. The GATORADE® in the bottle opened at 20 days had a DO level of only slightly lower than 45 ppm as indicated by point 8114. The second bottle of GATORADE® was opened at 60 days and the GATORADE® therein had a DO level of slightly more than 41 ppm. Finally, a third bottle of GATORADE® was opened at 90 days and the GATORADE® therein had a DO level of approximately 39 ppm as shown by point 8116. As before, with respect to the water test in the plastic and glass bottles (see FIG. 31), it can be seen that the DO levels remain at relatively high levels over the 90 day period and substantially higher than those levels present in normal (unprocessed) GATORADE® stored in 32 oz. GATORADE® bottles. Point 8010 is the level corresponding to inventive output fluid in a covered PET bottle.
  • Dwell Time
  • [0286]
    Dwell time is an amount of time the first material 110, the second material 120, and optionally the third material 130 spend in the mixing chamber 330. The ratio of the length of the mixing chamber 330 to the diameter of the mixing chamber 330 may significantly affect dwell time. The greater the ratio, the longer the dwell time. As mentioned in the Background Section, the rotor 12 of the prior art device 10 (see FIG. 1) had a diameter of about 7.500 inches and a length of about 6.000 inches providing a length to diameter ratio of about 0.8. In contrast, in particular embodiments, the length of the mixing chamber 330 of the mixing device 100 is about 5 inches and the diameter “D1” of the rotor 600 is about 1.69 inches yielding a length to diameter ratio of about 2.95.
  • [0287]
    Dwell time represents the amount of time that the first material 110, the second material 120, and optionally the third material 130 are able to interact with the electrokinetic phenomena described herein. The prior art device 10 is configured to produce about 60 gallons of the output material 102 per minute and the mixing device 100 is configured to produce about 0.5 gallons of the output material 102 per minute, the prior art device 10 (see FIG. 1) had a fluid dwell time of about 0.05 seconds, whereas embodiments of the mixing device 100 have a substantially greater (about 7-times greater) dwell time of about 0.35 seconds. This longer dwell time allows the first material 110, the second material 120, and optionally the third material 130 to interact with each other and the surfaces 606 and 705 (see FIG. 7) inside the mixing chamber 330 for about 7 times longer than was possible in the prior art device 10.
  • [0288]
    With reference to Table I below, the above dwell times were calculated by first determining the flow rate for each device in gallons per second. In the case of the prior art device 10 was configured to operate at about 60 gallons of output material per minute, while the mixing device 100 is configured to operate over a broader range of flow rate, including at an optimal range of about 0.5 gallons of output material per minute. The flow rate was then converted to cubic inches per second by multiplying the flow rate in gallons per second by the number of cubic inches in a gallon (i.e., 231 cubic inches). Then, the volume (12.876 cubic inches) of the channel 32 of the prior art device 10 was divided by the flow rate of the device (231 cubic inches/second) to obtain the dwell time (in seconds) and the volume (0.673 cubic inches) of the mixing chamber 330 of the mixing device 100 was divided by the flow rate (1.925 cubic inches/second) of the device (in cubic inches per second) to obtain the dwell time (in seconds).
  • [0000]
    TABLE I
    Table 1. Inventive device can accommodate a range of
    dwell times, including a substantially increased (e.g.,
    7-times) dwell time relative to prior art devices.
    Volume
    Flow Rate Mixing
    Flow Rate Flow Rate Cubic Chamber Dwell
    Gallons/ Gallons/ Inches/ (Cubic Time
    Device Minute Second Second Inches) (Seconds)
    Prior art 60 1.000 231.000 12.876 0.056
    device 10
    Mixing 2 0.033 7.700 0.673 0.087
    device 100
    Mixing 0.5 0.008 1.925 0.673 0.350
    device 100
  • Rate of Infusion
  • [0289]
    Particular aspects of the mixing device 100 provide an improved oxygen infusion rate over the prior art, including over prior art device 10 (see FIG. 1). When the first material 110 is water and the second material 120 is oxygen, both of which are processed by the mixing device 100 in a single pass (i.e., the return block of FIG. 2 is set to “NO”) at or near 20° Celsius, the output material 102 has a dissolved oxygen level of about 43.8 parts per million. In certain aspects, an output material having about 43.8 ppm dissolved oxygen is created in about 350 milliseconds via the inventive flow through the inventive non pressurized (non-pressure pot) methods. In contrast, when the first material 110 (water) and the second material 120 (oxygen) are both processed in a single pass at or near 20° Celsius by the prior art device 10, the output material had dissolved oxygen level of only 35 parts per million in a single pass of 56 milliseconds.
  • Output Material 102
  • [0290]
    When the first material 110 is a liquid (e.g., freshwater, saline, GATORADE®, and the like) and the second material 120 is a gas (e.g., oxygen, nitrogen, and the like), the mixing device 100 may diffuse the second material 120 into the first material 110. The following discusses results of analyses performed on the output material 102 to characterize one or more properties of the output material 102 derived from having been processed by the mixing device 100.
  • [0291]
    When the first material 110 is saline solution and the second material 120 is oxygen gas, experiments have indicated that a vast majority of oxygen bubbles produced within the saline solution are no greater than 0.1 micron in size.
  • Decay of Dissolved Oxygen Levels
  • [0292]
    Referring now to FIG. 30, there is illustrated the DO levels in water processed with oxygen in the mixing device 100 and stored in a 500 ml thin-walled plastic bottle and a 1000 ml glass bottle. Each of the bottles was capped and stored at 65° Fahrenheit. Point 7900 is the DO level at bottling. Line 7902 illustrates the Henry's Law equilibrium state (i.e., the amount of dissolved oxygen that should be within the water at 65° Fahrenheit), which is a DO level of slightly less than 10 ppm. Points 7904 and 7906 represent the DO levels within the water in the plastic bottle at 65 days and 95 days respectively. As can be seen at point 7904, when the plastic bottle is opened approximately 65 days after bottling, the DO level within the water is approximately 27.5 ppm. When the bottle is opened approximately 95 days after bottling, as indicated at point 7906, the DO level is approximately 25 ppm. Likewise, for the glass bottle, the DO level is approximately 40 ppm at 65 days as indicated at point 7908 and is approximately 41 ppm at 95 days as illustrated at point 7910. Thus, FIG. 30 indicates the DO levels within both the plastic bottle and the glass bottle remain relatively high at 65° Fahrenheit.
  • [0293]
    Referring to FIG. 31, there is illustrated the DO levels in water processed with oxygen in the mixing device 100 and stored in a 500 ml plastic thin-walled bottle and a 1000 ml glass bottle. Both bottles were refrigerated at 39° Fahrenheit. The Henry's Law equilibrium for water at 39° Fahrenheit, illustrated as line 8002, is approximately 14 ppm. The DO levels observed in the water at bottling were slightly less than 40 ppm as illustrated generally by point 8004. At approximately 30 days between bottling and opening, the DO level of the water in the plastic bottle has dropped slightly as indicated by point 8006 to approximately 38 ppm. The DO level of the water in the glass bottle has dropped slightly less as indicated generally by point 8012. At approximately 65 days between bottling and opening, the DO level in the plastic bottle has dropped to nearly 35 ppm as illustrated by point 8008, and the DO level within the glass bottle as illustrated generally by point 8014 has maintained a relatively constant value slightly below 40 ppm. At just over 90 days between bottling and opening, the DO level within the plastic bottle remains at approximately 38 ppm while the DO level within the glass bottle has risen to approximately 42 ppm as indicated by point 8016. Thus, FIG. 31 illustrates that, at lower temperature levels, the DO levels may be maintained at a high constant level in both the glass bottle and the plastic bottle for a long period of time. Point 8010 is the level corresponding to inventive output fluid in a PET bottle.
  • [0294]
    Referring now to FIG. 32, there is illustrated the dissolved oxygen levels in GATORADE® processed with oxygen in the mixing device 100 and stored in 32 oz. GATORADE® bottles having an average temperature of 550 Fahrenheit at capping. The GATORADE® bottles were subsequently refrigerated at 380 Fahrenheit between capping and opening. During the experiment, a different bottle was opened at 20, 60, and 90 days, respectively, to measure the DO levels of the GATORADE® stored therein.
  • [0295]
    The GATORADE® within a first group of GATORADE® bottles was processed with oxygen in the mixing device 100 at approximately 560 Fahrenheit. The DO levels of the GATORADE® at bottling were approximately 50 ppm as indicated by point 8104. A first bottle was opened at approximately 20 days, and the DO level of the GATORADE® was determined to be approximately 47 ppm as indicated by point 8106. A second bottle was then opened at 60 days, and the DO level of the GATORADE® was measured to be approximately 44 ppm as indicated by point 8108. Finally, a third bottle was opened at 90 days, and the DO level of the GATORADE® was determined to be slightly below 40 ppm as indicated by point 8110.
  • [0296]
    The GATORADE® within a second group of GATORADE® bottles was processed with oxygen in the mixing device 100 at approximately 520 Fahrenheit. The initial DO level for GATORADE® stored in this group of bottles was 45 ppm as illustrated by point 8112. The GATORADE® in the bottle opened at 20 days had a DO level of only slightly lower than 45 ppm as indicated by point 8114. The second bottle of GATORADE® was opened at 60 days and the GATORADE® therein had a DO level of slightly more than 41 ppm. Finally, a third bottle of GATORADE® was opened at 90 days and the GATORADE® therein had a DO level of approximately 39 ppm as shown by point 8116. As before, with respect to the water test in the plastic and glass bottles (see FIG. 30), it can be seen that the DO levels remain at relatively high levels over the 90 day period and substantially higher than those levels present in normal (unprocessed) GATORADE® stored in 32 oz. GATORADE® bottles. Point 8010 is the level corresponding to inventive output fluid in a covered PET bottle.
  • [0297]
    FIG. 33 illustrates the DO retention of 500 ml of balanced salt solution processed with oxygen in the mixing device 100 and kept at standard temperature and pressure in an amber glass bottle. The DO level of the solution before processing is 5 ppm. After processing in the mixing device 100, the DO level was increased to approximately 41 ppm (illustrated as point 8202). An hour after processing, the DO level dropped to approximately 40 ppm as indicated by point 8204. Two hours after processing, the DO level dropped to approximately 36 ppm as indicated by point 8206. The DO level dropped to approximately 34 ppm three hours after processing as indicated by point 8208. At approximately four and a half hours after processing, the DO level within the salt solution dropped to slightly more than 30 ppm. The final measurement was taken shortly before six hours after processing whereat the DO level had dropped to approximately 28 ppm. Thus, each of the experiments illustrated in FIGS. 30-33 illustrate that that the DO levels remain at relatively high levels over extended periods.
  • [0298]
    Because the output material 102 may be consumed by human beings, the materials used to construct the mixing device 100 should be suitable for food and/or pharmaceutical manufacture. By way of non-limiting example, the housing 520, the housing 5520, the rotor 600, the stator 700, and the stator 5700 may all be constructed from stainless steel.
  • Molecular Interactions
  • [0299]
    A number of physicists have begun to describe the quantum properties of water. Conventionally, quantum properties are thought to belong to elementary particles of less than 10−10 meters, while the macroscopic world of our everyday life is referred to as classical, in that it behaves according to Newton's laws of motion. Between the macroscopic classical world and the microscopic quantum world is the mesoscopic domain, where the distinction between macroscopic and microscopic is becoming increasingly blurred. Indeed, physicists are discovering quantum properties in large collections of atoms and molecules in the nanometer to micrometer range, particularly when the molecules are packed closely together in a liquid phase.
  • [0300]
    Recently, chemists have made a surprising discovery that molecules form clusters that increase in size with dilution. These clusters measure several micrometers in diameter. The increase in size occurs non-linearly with dilution and depends on history, flying in the face of classical chemistry. Indeed, there is yet no explanation for this phenomena. It may well be yet another reflection of the strangeness of water that depends on its quantum properties.
  • [0301]
    In the mid 1990's, quantum physicist del Giudice and Preparata and other colleagues at the University of Milan, in Italy, argued that quantum coherent domains measuring 100 nanometers in diameter could arise in pure water. They show how the collective vibrations of water molecules in the coherent domain eventually become phase locked to the fluctuations of the global electromagnetic field. In this way, long lasting, stable oscillations could be maintained in water.
  • [0302]
    One way in which memory might be stored in water is through the excitation of long lasting coherent oscillations specific to one or more substances (such as a therapeutic agent) dissolved in the water. Interactions between the water molecules and the molecules of the substances dissolved in the water change the collective structure of the water, which would in turn determine the specific coherent oscillations that develop. If these oscillations become stabilized and maintained by phase coupling between the global field and the excited molecules, then, even when the dissolved substances are diluted away, the water may still carry the coherent oscillations that can seed other volumes of water on dilution.
  • [0303]
    The discovery that dissolved substances form increasingly large clusters is compatible with the existence of a coherent field in water that can transmit attractive resonance between molecules when the oscillations are in phase leading to clumping in dilute solutions. As a cluster of molecules increases in size, its electromagnetic signature is correspondingly amplified, reinforcing the coherent oscillations carried by the water.
  • [0304]
    One should expect changes in some physical properties in water that could be detectible. Unfortunately, all attempts to detect such coherent oscillations by usual spectroscopic and nuclear magnetic resonance methods have yielded ambiguous results. This is not surprising in view of the finding that cluster size of the dissolved molecules depends on the precise history of dilution rather than concentration of the molecules.
  • [0305]
    It is possible that despite variations in the cluster size of the dissolved molecules and detailed microscopic structure of the water, a specificity of coherent oscillations may nonetheless exist. Usual detection methods fail because they depend upon using the microscopic particles of individual molecules, or of small aggregates. Instead, what is needed is a method of detecting collective global properties over many, many molecules. Some obvious possibilities that suggest themselves are the measurements of freezing points and boiling points, viscosity, density, diffusivity, and magnet properties. One possibility for detecting changes in collective global properties of water is by means of crystallization. Crystals are formed from macroscopic collections of molecules. Like other measurements that depend on global properties, crystals simplify the subtle changes in the individual molecules that would have been undetectable otherwise.
  • [0306]
    With reference to FIG. 36, a simplified protonated water cluster forming a nanoscale cage 8700 is shown. A protonated water cluster typically takes the form of H+(H2On. Some protonated water clusters occur naturally, such as in the ionosphere. Without being bound by any particular theory, and according to particular aspects, other types of water clusters or structures (clusters, nanocages, etc) are possible, including structures comprising oxygen and stabilized electrons imparted to the inventive output materials. Oxygen atoms 8704 may be caught in the resulting structures 8700. The chemistry of the semi-bound nanocage allows the oxygen 8704 and/or stabilized electrons to remain dissolved for extended periods of time. Other atoms or molecules, such as medicinal compounds, can be caged for sustained delivery purposes. The specific chemistry of the solution material and dissolved compounds depend on the interactions of those materials.
  • [0307]
    Fluids processed by the mixing device 100 have been shown via experiments to exhibit different structural characteristics that are consistent with an analysis of the fluid in the context of a cluster structure.
  • [0308]
    Water processed through the mixing device 100 has been demonstrated to have detectible structural differences when compared with normal unprocessed water. For example, processed water has been shown to have more Rayleigh scattering than is observed in unprocessed water. In the experiments that were conducted, samples of processed and unprocessed water were prepared (by sealing each in a separate bottle), coded (for later identification of the processed sample and unprocessed sample), and sent to an independent testing laboratory for analysis. Only after the tests were completed were the codes interpreted to reveal which sample had been processed by the mixing device 100.
  • [0309]
    At the laboratory, the two samples were placed in a laser beam having a wavelength of 633 nanometers. The fluid had been sealed in glass bottles for approximately one week before testing. With respect to the processed sample, Sample B scattered light regardless of its position relative to the laser source. However, Sample A did not. After two to three hours following the opening of the bottle, the scattering effect of Sample B disappeared. These results imply the water exhibited a memory causing the water to retain its properties and dissipate over time. These results also imply the structure of the processed water is optically different from the structure of the unprocessed fluid. Finally, these results imply the optical effect is not directly related to DO levels because the DO level at the start was 45 ppm and at the end of the experiment was estimated to be approximately 32 ppm.
  • [0310]
    The presently disclosed system and methods allow gas (e.g. oxygen) to be enriched stably at a high concentration with minimal passive loss. This system and methods can be effectively used to enrich a wide variety of gases at heightened percentages into a wide variety of fluids. By way of example only, deionized water at room temperature that typically has levels of about 7-9 ppm (parts per million) of dissolved oxygen can achieve levels of dissolved oxygen ranging from about 8-70 ppm using the disclosed systems and/or methods. In accordance with a particular exemplary embodiment, oxygen-enriched water may be generated with levels of about 30-60 ppm of dissolved oxygen.
  • [0311]
    Table 1 illustrates various partial pressure measurements taken in a healing wound treated with an oxygen-enriched saline solution and in samples of the gas-enriched oxygen-enriched saline solution of the present invention.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 1
    TISSUE OXYGEN MEASUREMENTS
    Probe Z082BO
    In air: 171 mmHg 23° C.
    Column Partial Pressure (mmHg)
    B1 32-36
    B2 169-200
    B3  20-180*
    B4 40-60
    *wound depth minimal, majority >150, occasional 20 s
  • [0312]
    Using a gas-enriching diffusion system in accordance with the present disclosure it is possible to significantly increase the amount of dissolved gas in most liquids. The system and method allows gas (e.g. oxygen) to be dissolved stably at a high concentration with minimal passive loss. This system and method can be effectively used to incorporate a wide variety of gases at heightened percentages into a wide variety of fluids. By way of example only, a de-ionized water sample at room temperature that typically has levels of about 2-3 ppm (parts per million) of dissolved oxygen can achieve levels of dissolved oxygen ranging from about 8-70 ppm using the disclosed gas-enriching system and/or methods. In accordance with a disclosed embodiment, a gas-enriched fluid may be generated with levels of about 30-60 ppm of dissolved gas (e.g. oxygen).
  • Cosmetic and/or Therapeutic Application and Administration
  • [0313]
    In particular exemplary embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid of the present invention may function as a cosmetic and/or therapeutic composition alone or in combination with another cosmetic and/or therapeutic agent such that the therapeutic composition prevents or alleviates at least one symptom of a wound-related disease or condition, or to increase proper wound healing. The therapeutic compositions of the present invention include compositions that are able to be administered to a subject in need thereof. As used herein, “subject,” may refer to any living creature, preferably an animal, more preferably a mammal, and even more preferably a human.
  • [0314]
    In certain embodiments, the composition formulation may also comprise at least one additional agent selected from the group consisting of: carriers, adjuvants, emulsifying agents, suspending agents, sweeteners, flavorings, perfumes, and binding agents.
  • [0315]
    As used herein, “pharmaceutically acceptable carrier” and “carrier” generally refer to a non-toxic, inert solid, semi-solid or liquid filler, diluent, encapsulating material or formulation auxiliary of any type. Some non-limiting examples of materials which can serve as pharmaceutically acceptable carriers are sugars such as lactose, glucose and sucrose; starches such as corn starch and potato starch; cellulose and its derivatives such as sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, ethyl cellulose and cellulose acetate; powdered tragacanth; malt; gelatin; talc; excipients such as cocoa butter and suppository waxes; oils such as peanut oil, cottonseed oil; safflower oil; sesame oil; olive oil; corn oil and soybean oil; glycols; such as propylene glycol; esters such as ethyl oleate and ethyl laurate; agar; buffering agents such as magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide; alginic acid; pyrogen-free water; isotonic saline; Ringer's solution; ethyl alcohol, and phosphate buffer solutions, as well as other non-toxic compatible lubricants such as sodium lauryl sulfate and magnesium stearate, as well as coloring agents, releasing agents, coating agents, sweetening, flavoring and perfuming agents, preservatives and antioxidants can also be present in the composition, according to the judgment of the formulator. In particular aspects, such carriers and excipients may be gas-enriched fluids or solutions of the present invention.
  • [0316]
    The pharmaceutically acceptable carriers described herein, for example, vehicles, adjuvants, excipients, or diluents, are well-known to those who are skilled in the art. Typically, the pharmaceutically acceptable carrier is chemically inert to the therapeutic agents and has no detrimental side effects or toxicity under the conditions of use. The pharmaceutically acceptable carriers can include polymers and polymer matrices, nanoparticles, microbubbles, and the like.
  • [0317]
    In addition to the therapeutic gas-enriched fluid of the present invention, the therapeutic composition may further comprise inert diluents such as additional non-gas-enriched water or other solvents, solubilizing agents and emulsifiers such as ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, ethyl carbonate, ethyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, benzyl benzoate, propylene glycol, 1,3-butylene glycol, dimethylformamide, oils (in particular, cottonseed, groundnut, corn, germ, olive, castor, and sesame oils), glycerol, tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol, polyethylene glycols and fatty acid esters of sorbitan, and mixtures thereof. As is appreciated by those of ordinary skill, a novel and improved formulation of a particular therapeutic composition, a novel gas-enriched therapeutic fluid, and a novel method of delivering the novel gas-enriched therapeutic fluid may be obtained by replacing one or more inert diluents with a gas-enriched fluid of identical, similar, or different composition. For example, conventional water may be replaced or supplemented by a gas-enriched fluid produced by infusing oxygen into water or deionized water to provide gas-enriched fluid.
  • [0318]
    Certain embodiments provide for therapeutic compositions comprising a gas-enriched fluid of the present invention, a pharmaceutical composition or other therapeutic agent or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt or solvate thereof, and at least one pharmaceutical carrier or diluent. These pharmaceutical compositions may be used in the prophylaxis and treatment of the foregoing diseases or conditions and in therapies as mentioned above. Preferably, the carrier must be pharmaceutically acceptable and must be compatible with, i.e. not have a deleterious effect upon, the other ingredients in the composition. The carrier may be a solid or liquid and is preferably formulated as a unit dose formulation, for example, a tablet which may contain from 0.05 to 95% by weight of the active ingredient.
  • [0319]
    While the compositions and/or methods disclosed herein generally relate to topical application, the most suitable means of administration for a particular subject will depend on the nature and severity of the disease or condition being treated or the nature of the therapy being used, as well as the nature of the therapeutic composition or additional therapeutic agent.
  • [0320]
    In addition to the therapeutic gas-enriched fluid of the present invention, the therapeutic composition may further comprise inert diluents such as additional non-gas-enriched water or other solvents, solubilizing agents and emulsifiers such as ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, ethyl carbonate, ethyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, benzyl benzoate, propylene glycol, 1,3-butylene glycol, dimethylformamide, oils (in particular, cottonseed, groundnut, corn, germ, olive, castor, and sesame oils), glycerol, tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol, polyethylene glycols and fatty acid esters of sorbitan, and mixtures thereof. As is appreciated by those of ordinary skill, a novel and improved formulation of a particular therapeutic composition, a novel gas-enriched therapeutic fluid, and a novel method of delivering the novel gas-enriched therapeutic fluid may be obtained by replacing one or more inert diluents with a gas-enriched fluid of identical, similar, or different composition. For example, conventional water may be replaced or supplemented by a gas-enriched fluid produced by infusing oxygen into water or deionized water to provide gas-enriched fluid.
  • [0321]
    In certain embodiments, the inventive gas-enriched fluid may be combined with one or more therapeutic agents and/or used alone. In particular embodiments, incorporating the gas-enriched fluid may include replacing one or more solutions known in the art, such as deionized water, saline solution, and the like with one or more gas-enriched fluid, thereby providing an improved therapeutic composition for delivery to the subject.
  • [0322]
    Certain embodiments provide for therapeutic compositions comprising a gas-enriched fluid of the present invention, a pharmaceutical composition or other therapeutic agent or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt or solvate thereof, and at least one pharmaceutical carrier or diluent. These pharmaceutical compositions may be used in the prophylaxis and treatment of the foregoing diseases or conditions and in therapies as mentioned above. Preferably, the carrier must be pharmaceutically acceptable and must be compatible with, i.e. not have a deleterious effect upon, the other ingredients in the composition. The carrier may be a solid or liquid and is preferably formulated as a unit dose formulation, for example, a tablet which may contain from 0.05 to 95% by weight of the active ingredient.
  • [0323]
    Possible administration routes include oral, sublingual, buccal, parenteral (for example subcutaneous, intramuscular, intra-arterial, intraperitoneally, intracisternally, intravesically, intrathecally, or intravenous), rectal, topical including transdermal, intravaginal, intraoccular, intraotical, intranasal, inhalation, and injection or insertion of implantable devices or materials.
  • [0324]
    Formulations
  • [0325]
    Most suitable means of administration for a particular subject will depend on the nature and severity of the disease or condition being treated or the nature of the therapy being used, as well as the nature of the therapeutic composition or additional therapeutic agent. In certain embodiments, oral or topical administration is preferred.
  • [0326]
    Formulations suitable for oral administration may be provided as discrete units, such as tablets, capsules, cachets, syrups, elixirs, chewing gum, “lollipop” formulations, microemulsions, solutions, suspensions, lozenges, or gel-coated ampules, each containing a predetermined amount of the active compound; as powders or granules; as solutions or suspensions in aqueous or non-aqueous liquids; or as oil-in-water or water-in-oil emulsions.
  • [0327]
    Formulations suitable for transmucosal methods, such as by sublingual or buccal administration include lozenges patches, tablets, and the like comprising the active compound and, typically a flavored base, such as sugar and acacia or tragacanth and pastilles comprising the active compound in an inert base, such as gelatin and glycerine or sucrose acacia.
  • [0328]
    Formulations suitable for parenteral administration typically comprise sterile aqueous solutions containing a predetermined concentration of the active gas-enriched fluid and possibly another therapeutic agent; the solution is preferably isotonic with the blood of the intended recipient. Additional formulations suitable for parenteral administration include formulations containing physiologically suitable co-solvents and/or complexing agents such as surfactants and cyclodextrins. Oil-in-water emulsions may also be suitable for formulations for parenteral administration of the gas-enriched fluid. Although such solutions are preferably administered intravenously, they may also be administered by subcutaneous or intramuscular injection.
  • [0329]
    Formulations suitable for urethral, rectal or vaginal administration include gels, creams, lotions, aqueous or oily suspensions, dispersible powders or granules, emulsions, dissolvable solid materials, douches, and the like. The formulations are preferably provided as unit-dose suppositories comprising the active ingredient in one or more solid carriers forming the suppository base, for example, cocoa butter. Alternatively, colonic washes with the gas-enriched fluids of the present invention may be formulated for colonic or rectal administration.
  • [0330]
    Formulations suitable for topical, intraoccular, intraotic, or intranasal application include ointments, creams, pastes, lotions, pastes, gels (such as hydrogels), sprays, dispersible powders and granules, emulsions, sprays or aerosols using flowing propellants (such as liposomal sprays, nasal drops, nasal sprays, and the like) and oils. Suitable carriers for such formulations include petroleum jelly, lanolin, polyethyleneglycols, alcohols, and combinations thereof. Nasal or intranasal delivery may include metered doses of any of these formulations or others. Likewise, intraotic or intraocular may include drops, ointments, irritation fluids and the like.
  • [0331]
    Formulations of the invention may be prepared by any suitable method, typically by uniformly and intimately admixing the gas-enriched fluid optionally with an active compound with liquids or finely divided solid carriers or both, in the required proportions and then, if necessary, shaping the resulting mixture into the desired shape.
  • [0332]
    For example a tablet may be prepared by compressing an intimate mixture comprising a powder or granules of the active ingredient and one or more optional ingredients, such as a binder, lubricant, inert diluent, or surface active dispersing agent, or by molding an intimate mixture of powdered active ingredient and a gas-enriched fluid of the present invention.
  • [0333]
    Suitable formulations for administration by inhalation include fine particle dusts or mists which may be generated by means of various types of metered dose pressurized aerosols, nebulisers, or insufflators. In particular, powders or other compounds of therapeutic agents may be dissolved or suspended in a gas-enriched fluid of the present invention.
  • [0334]
    For pulmonary administration via the mouth, the particle size of the powder or droplets is typically in the range 0.5-10 μM, preferably 1-5 μM, to ensure delivery into the bronchial tree. For nasal administration, a particle size in the range 10-500 μM is preferred to ensure retention in the nasal cavity.
  • [0335]
    Metered dose inhalers are pressurized aerosol dispensers, typically containing a suspension or solution formulation of a therapeutic agent in a liquefied propellant. In certain embodiments, as disclosed herein, the gas-enriched fluids of the present invention may be used in addition to or instead of the standard liquefied propellant. During use, these devices discharge the formulation through a valve adapted to deliver a metered volume, typically from 10 to 150 μL, to produce a fine particle spray containing the therapeutic agent and the gas-enriched fluid. Suitable propellants include certain chlorofluorocarbon compounds, for example, dichlorodifluoromethane, trichlorofluoromethane, dichlorotetrafluoroethane and mixtures thereof.
  • [0336]
    The formulation may additionally contain one or more co-solvents, for example, ethanol surfactants, such as oleic acid or sorbitan trioleate, anti-oxidants and suitable flavoring agents. Nebulisers are commercially available devices that transform solutions or suspensions of the active ingredient into a therapeutic aerosol mist either by means of acceleration of a compressed gas (typically air or oxygen) through a narrow venturi orifice, or by means of ultrasonic agitation. Suitable formulations for use in nebulisers consist of another therapeutic agent in a gas-enriched fluid and comprising up to 40% w/w of the formulation, preferably less than 20% w/w. In addition, other carriers may be utilized, such as distilled water, sterile water, or a dilute aqueous alcohol solution, preferably made isotonic with body fluids by the addition of salts, such as sodium chloride. Optional additives include preservatives, especially if the formulation is not prepared sterile, and may include methyl hydroxy-benzoate, anti-oxidants, flavoring agents, volatile oils, buffering agents and surfactants.
  • [0337]
    Suitable formulations for administration by insufflation include finely comminuted powders which may be delivered by means of an insufflator or taken into the nasal cavity in the manner of a snuff. In the insufflator, the powder is contained in capsules or cartridges, typically made of gelatin or plastic, which are either pierced or opened in situ and the powder delivered by air drawn through the device upon inhalation or by means of a manually-operated pump. The powder employed in the insufflator consists either solely of the active ingredient or of a powder blend comprising the active ingredient, a suitable powder diluent, such as lactose, and an optional surfactant. The active ingredient typically comprises from 0.1 to 100 w/w of the formulation.
  • [0338]
    In addition to the ingredients specifically mentioned above, the formulations of the present invention may include other agents known to those skilled in the art, having regard for the type of formulation in issue. For example, formulations suitable for oral administration may include flavoring agents and formulations suitable for intranasal administration may include perfumes.
  • [0339]
    The therapeutic compositions of the invention can be administered by any conventional method available for use in conjunction with pharmaceutical drugs, either as individual therapeutic agents or in a combination of therapeutic agents.
  • [0340]
    The dosage administered will, of course, vary depending upon known factors, such as the pharmacodynamic characteristics of the particular agent and its mode and route of administration; the age, health and weight of the recipient; the nature and extent of the symptoms; the kind of concurrent treatment; the frequency of treatment; and the effect desired. A daily dosage of active ingredient can be expected to be about 0.001 to 1000 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight, with the preferred dose being 0.1 to about 30 mg/kg.
  • [0341]
    Dosage forms (compositions suitable for administration) contain from about 1 mg to about 500 mg of active ingredient per unit. In these pharmaceutical compositions, the active ingredient will ordinarily be present in an amount of about 0.5-95% weight based on the total weight of the composition.
  • [0342]
    Ointments, pastes, foams, occlusions, creams and gels also can contain excipients, such as starch, tragacanth, cellulose derivatives, silicones, bentonites, silica acid, and talc, or mixtures thereof. Powders and sprays also can contain excipients such as lactose, talc, silica acid, aluminum hydroxide, and calcium silicates, or mixtures of these substances. Solutions of nanocrystalline antimicrobial metals can be converted into aerosols or sprays by any of the known means routinely used for making aerosol pharmaceuticals. In general, such methods comprise pressurizing or providing a means for pressurizing a container of the solution, usually with an inert carrier gas, and passing the pressurized gas through a small orifice. Sprays can additionally contain customary propellants, such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, or other inert gases. In addition, microspheres or nanoparticles may be employed with the gas-enriched therapeutic compositions or fluids of the present invention in any of the routes required to administer the therapeutic compounds to a subject.
  • [0343]
    The injection-use formulations can be presented in unit-dose or multi-dose sealed containers, such as ampules and vials, and can be stored in a freeze-dried (lyophilized) condition requiring only the addition of the sterile liquid excipient, or gas-enriched fluid, immediately prior to use. Extemporaneous injection solutions and suspensions can be prepared from sterile powders, granules, and tablets. The requirements for effective pharmaceutical carriers for injectable compositions are well known to those of ordinary skill in the art. See, for example, Pharmaceutics and Pharmacy Practice, J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, Pa., Banker and Chalmers, Eds., 238-250 (1982) and ASHP Handbook on Injectable Drugs, Toissel, 4th ed., 622-630 (1986).
  • [0344]
    Formulations suitable for topical administration include lozenges comprising a gas-enriched fluid of the invention and optionally, an additional therapeutic and a flavor, usually sucrose and acacia or tragacanth; pastilles comprising a gas-enriched fluid and optional additional therapeutic agent in an inert base, such as gelatin and glycerin, or sucrose and acacia; and mouth washes or oral rinses comprising a gas-enriched fluid and optional additional therapeutic agent in a suitable liquid carrier; as well as creams, emulsions, gels and the like.
  • [0345]
    Additionally, formulations suitable for rectal administration may be presented as suppositories by mixing with a variety of bases such as emulsifying bases or water-soluble bases. Formulations suitable for vaginal administration may be presented as pessaries, tampons, creams, gels, pastes, foams, or spray formulas containing, in addition to the active ingredient, such carriers as are known in the art to be appropriate.
  • [0346]
    Suitable pharmaceutical carriers are described in Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences, Mack Publishing Company, a standard reference text in this field.
  • [0347]
    The dose administered to a subject, especially an animal, particularly a human, in the context of the present invention should be sufficient to effect a therapeutic response in the animal over a reasonable time frame. One skilled in the art will recognize that dosage will depend upon a variety of factors including a condition of the animal, the body weight of the animal, as well as the condition being treated. A suitable dose is that which will result in a concentration of the therapeutic composition in a subject which is known to affect the desired response.
  • [0348]
    The size of the dose also will be determined by the route, timing and frequency of administration as well as the existence, nature, and extent of any adverse side effects that might accompany the administration of the therapeutic composition and the desired physiological effect.
  • [0349]
    Formulations suitable for topical application include liquids (aqueous or oil based), ointments, creams, lotions, pastes, gels (such as hydrogels), sprays, dispersible powders and granules, emulsions, sprays or aerosols using flowing propellants (such as liposomal sprays, nasal drops, nasal sprays, and the like) and oils. Suitable carriers for such formulations include petroleum jelly, lanolin, polyethylene glycol (such as PEG 3000, PEG 5000, or other), alcohols, and combinations thereof.
  • [0350]
    Formulations of the invention may be prepared by any suitable method, typically by uniformly and intimately admixing the gas-enriched fluid optionally with an active compound with liquids or finely divided solid carriers or both, in the required proportions and then, if necessary, shaping the resulting mixture into the desired shape.
  • [0351]
    Ointments, pastes, foams, occlusions, creams, gels, sols, suspensions, and patches also can contain excipients, such as starch, tragacanth, cellulose derivatives, silicones, bentonites, silica acid, and talc, or mixtures thereof. Powders and sprays also can contain excipients such as lactose, talc, silica acid, aluminum hydroxide, and calcium silicates, or mixtures of these substances. Solutions of nanocrystalline antimicrobial metals can be converted into aerosols or sprays by any of the known means routinely used for making aerosol pharmaceuticals. In general, such methods comprise pressurizing or providing a means for pressurizing a container of the fluid, usually with an inert carrier gas, and passing the pressurized gas through a small orifice. Sprays can additionally contain customary propellants, such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, or other inert gases. In addition, microspheres or nanoparticles may be employed with the gas-enriched therapeutic compositions or fluids of the present invention in any of the routes required to administer the compounds to a subject.
  • [0352]
    The topical formulations can be presented in unit-dose or multi-dose sealed containers, such as ampules and vials, and can be stored in a freeze-dried (lyophilized) condition requiring only the addition of the sterile liquid excipient, or gas-enriched fluid, immediately prior to use. Extemporaneous fluids, and/or suspensions can be prepared from sterile powders, granules, and tablets.
  • [0353]
    The dose administered to a subject, especially an animal, particularly a human, in the context of the present invention should be sufficient to effect a cosmetic and/or therapeutic response in the animal over a reasonable time frame. One skilled in the art will recognize that dosage will depend upon a variety of factors including a condition of the animal, the body weight of the animal, the desired outcome, as well as the condition being treated. A suitable dose is that which will result in a concentration of the cosmetic and/or therapeutic composition in a subject which is known to affect the desired response.
  • [0354]
    The size of the dose also will be determined by the route, timing and frequency of administration as well as the existence, nature, and extent of any adverse side effects that might accompany the administration of the therapeutic composition and the desired physiological effect.
  • [0355]
    The gas-enriched fluids of the present invention may be used to improve existing drug delivery compositions and methods. The diffuser processed fluids may be formulated, alone or together with one or more therapeutic agents, in suitable dosage unit formulations. In various embodiments, these formulations may include conventional non-toxic pharmaceutically acceptable carriers, adjuvants, emulsifying and suspending agents, sweetening, flavoring, perfuming agents, and vehicles appropriate for the particular route taken into the body of the subject.
  • [0356]
    As used herein, the terms “pharmaceutically acceptable carrier” and “carrier” mean a non-toxic, inert solid, semi-solid or liquid filler, diluent, encapsulating material or formulation auxiliary of any type. Some non-limiting examples of materials which can serve as pharmaceutically acceptable carriers are sugars such as lactose, glucose and sucrose; starches such as corn starch and potato starch; cellulose and its derivatives such as sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, ethyl cellulose and cellulose acetate; powdered tragacanth; malt; gelatin; talc; excipients such as cocoa butter and suppository waxes; oils such as peanut oil, cottonseed oil; safflower oil; sesame oil; olive oil; corn oil and soybean oil; glycols; such as propylene glycol; esters such as ethyl oleate and ethyl laurate; agar; buffering agents such as magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide; alginic acid; pyrogen-free water; isotonic saline; Ringer's solution; ethyl alcohol, and phosphate buffer solutions, as well as other nontoxic compatible lubricants such as sodium lauryl sulfate and magnesium stearate, as well as coloring agents, releasing agents, coating agents, sweetening, flavoring and perfuming agents, preservatives and antioxidants can also be present in the composition, according to the judgment of the formulator. In particular aspects, such carriers and excipients or are themselves diffuser processed fluids.
  • [0357]
    In certain embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid disclosed herein may comprise a wetting, irrigation or soaking fluid to apply to organs, such as the skin, or into which organs and/or tissues may be placed. One or more therapeutic agents may be dissolved in the gas-enriched fluid or placed in the tissue before wetting, irrigating or soaking it in the gas-enriched fluid. The gas-enriched fluid may also be applied to the skin or other organ or tissue in combination with a preexisting medication, thereby creating a gas-enriched therapeutic fluid, to increase the efficacy of the medication. The gas-enriched fluid may also be used to dissolve a powder, thereby creating a gas-enriched therapeutic fluid and drug delivery method. Alternatively, the inventive gas-enriched fluid may comprise infused ingredients of these patches, gels, creams, lotions, ointments, pastes, solutions, sprays, aqueous or oily suspensions, emulsions, and the like.
  • [0358]
    Topical drug delivery, including drug delivery by administration to the skin or mucosal membranes is also within the scope of this invention. Particular aspects provide for therapeutic wound care products for delivery to the skin or to a portion thereof, or to any bodily location of a wound. For example, the gas-enriched diffuser processed fluid may comprise ointments, drops, therapeutic solutions, irrigation fluids, pharmaceuticals (prescription and over the counter drops and other medications, steroid drops, carteol, a non-selective beta blocker, vitamins), and the like. For example, the gas-enriched fluid may replace common carriers such as saline and water.
  • [0359]
    Enhancing Biological Tissue Growth:
  • [0360]
    In other related embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid compositions and/or methods described herein can be used in relation to enhancing biological cell and/or tissue growth of cell (including stem cells), tissue and organ cultures, whether naturally occurring, or genetically modified. In addition, gas-enriched fluid compositions and/or methods disclosed herein can be used for artificial blood and surgical procedures requiring artificial blood (such as coronary bypass surgery and shock-trauma procedures). Similarly, oxygen-rich solutions may be used to perfuse one or more solid organs, such as liver, kidney, heart, eye, hand, foot, brain, and others after harvesting and prior to (e.g. in transit) and during transplantation. Use of gas-enriched (particularly oxygen-enriched) fluids in accordance with the disclosed embodiments may lead to longer storage time and more successful transplant rates.
  • [0361]
    In particular embodiments, the gas-enriched fluid may be used In certain embodiments, storing, transporting, infusing, delivering, and or transplanting organs with the gas-enriched fluid of the invention may provide for more successful preservation and/or transplantation of organs and/or tissues, due to decreased inflammation, decreased necrosis, and or increased cellular function. In addition, the gas-enriched fluid of the present invention may be delivered intravenously to a subject, including a human patient. It is possible to oxygenate plasma for use in a subject (human body or other animal) which may have application in the treatment of cancer or other medical conditions or disorders. It may also be useful to oxygenate plasma to preserve it when stored for extended periods of time.
  • [0362]
    In other embodiments, hydrotherapy or topical application of gas-enriched or oxygen-enriched solution, it is possible for the subject to receive an increased blood oxygen level and would thereby lead to a healthier, subject with increased energy and vitality.
  • EXAMPLE 1 Decayed Oxygen Content in Balanced Salt Solution
  • [0363]
    FIG. 33 illustrates the dissolved oxygen retention of a 500 ml Braun balanced salt solution that originally had a dissolved oxygen level of 5 ppm. Following enrichment of the solution at standard temperature and pressure with the diffuser of the present invention, the dissolved oxygen level was approximately 41 ppm at point 2202. The solution was kept in an amber glass bottle. After an hour, the dissolved oxygen level was 40 ppm as indicated at point 2204; 36 ppm after two hours; 34 ppm after three hours; and slightly more than 30 ppm after approximately four and a half hours. The final measurement was taken shortly before six hours, at which point the dissolved oxygen level was approximately 28 ppm.
  • EXAMPLE 2 Microbubble Size
  • [0364]
    Experiments were performed with a gas-enriched fluid by using the diffuser of the present invention in order to determine a gas microbubble size limit. The microbubble size limit was established by passing the gas enriched fluid through 0.22 and 0.1 micron filters. In performing these tests, a volume of fluid passed through the diffuser of the present invention and generated a gas-enriched fluid. Sixty milliliters of this fluid was drained into a 60 ml syringe. The dissolved oxygen rate of the fluid within the syringe was then measured using Winkler titration. The fluid within the syringe was injected through a 0.22 micron Millipore Millex GP50 filter and into a 50 ml beaker. The dissolved oxygen rate of the material in the 50 ml beaker was then measured. The experiment was performed three times to achieve the results illustrated in Table 3 below.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 3
    DO IN DO AFTER
    SYRINGE 0.22 MICRON FILTER
    42.1 ppm 39.7 ppm
    43.4 ppm 42.0 ppm
    43.5 ppm 39.5 ppm
  • [0365]
    As can be seen, the dissolved oxygen levels that were measured within the syringe and the dissolved oxygen levels within the 50 ml beaker were not significantly changed by passing the diffused material through a 0.22 micron filter, which implies that the microbubbles of dissolved gas within the fluid are not larger than 0.22 microns.
  • [0366]
    A second test was performed in which a batch of saline solution was enriched with the diffuser of the present invention and a sample of the output solution was collected in an unfiltered state. The dissolved oxygen level of the unfiltered sample was 44.7 ppm. A 0.1 micron filter was used to filter the oxygen-enriched solution from the diffuser of the present invention and two additional samples were taken. For the first sample, the dissolved oxygen level was 43.4 ppm. For the second sample, the dissolved oxygen level was 41.4 ppm. Finally, the filter was removed and a final sample was taken from the unfiltered solution. In this case, the final sample had a dissolved oxygen level of 45.4 ppm. These results were consistent with those in which the Millipore 0.2 micron filter was used. Thus, the majority of the gas bubbles or microbubbles within the saline solution are approximately less than 0.1 microns in size.
  • EXAMPLE 3 Sparging Effects
  • [0367]
    FIGS. 34 and 35 illustrate the sparging effects of the diffuser of the present invention on a fluid passing therethrough. The sparging of oxygen-enriched water was conducted in an 8 gallon tank at standard temperature and pressure. As indicated, initially the oxygen-enriched water had a dissolved oxygen level of approximately 42 ppm. After 2 minutes of running through the diffuser, the nitrogen had sparged the oxygen-enriched water such that the dissolved oxygen level was then slightly more than 20 ppm. At 6 minutes, the dissolved oxygen level was approximately 6 ppm. The dissolved oxygen level of the oxygen-enriched water reached a minimum value slightly greater than zero (0) at approximately 14 minutes after the beginning of the process. These figures illustrate the manner in which nitrogen may be diffused into water to sparge the oxygen from the water. However, any gas could be used within any fluid to sparge one gas from the other and diffuse the other gas into the fluid. The same experiment could utilize any host fluid material, and any fluid infusion material.
  • EXAMPLE 4 Rayleigh Effects
  • [0368]
    Fluids processed through the diffuser device described herein exhibit differences within the structure of the water when compared with normal unprocessed water. Gas-enriched water made by embodiments disclosed herein has been shown to have more Rayleigh scattering effect compared to water that is not gas-enriched according to the present invention.
  • [0369]
    In experiments conducted, samples of gas-enriched and non-enriched water were prepared and sent for optical analysis. The purpose of these tests was to determine whether there are any gross optical differences between normal (unprocessed) deionized water and water enriched by the diffuser device of the present invention.
  • [0370]
    The two samples, were coded to maintain their identities in secrecy, and only after the tests were completed were the samples identified. The two samples were placed in a laser beam of 633 nanometers according to the diagram illustrated in FIG. 37A. Sample B, which was gas-enriched fluid according to certain embodiments disclosed herein, exhibited scattered light regardless of its position relative to the laser source. The Sample B fluid had been sealed in glass bottles for approximately one week. After two to three hours of opening the bottle, the scattering effect disappeared. Thus, the structure of the gas-enriched fluid is optically different from the structure of the unprocessed fluid. The optical effect is not directly related to dissolved oxygen levels since the dissolved oxygen level at the start was approximately 45 ppm and at the end of the experiment was estimated to be approximately 32 ppm. The results are illustrated in FIG. 37B.
  • EXAMPLE 5 Generation of Solvated Electrons
  • [0371]
    Additional evidence has also suggested that the diffusion process generated by the diffuser device of the present invention result in solvated electrons within the gas-enriched solution. Due to the results of the polarographic dissolved oxygen probes, it is believed that the diffused fluid exhibits an electron capture effect and thus the fluid may include solvated electrons within the gas-enriched material.
  • [0372]
    There are two fundamental techniques for measuring dissolved oxygen levels electrically: galvanic measuring techniques and polarographic measurements. Each process uses an electrode system wherein the dissolved oxygen levels within the solution being tested react with a cathode of the probe to produce a current. Dissolved oxygen level sensors consist of two electrodes, an anode and a cathode, which are both immersed in electrolyte within the sensor body. An oxygen permeable membrane separates the anode and cathode from the solution being tested. Oxygen diffuses across the membrane and interacts with the internal components of the probe to produce an electrical current. The cathode is a hydrogen electrode and carries negative potential with respect to the anode. The electrolyte solution surrounds the electrode pair and is contained by the membrane. When no oxygen is present, the cathode is polarized by hydrogen and resists the flow of current. When oxygen passes through the membrane, the cathode is depolarized and electrons are consumed. The cathode electrochemically reduces the oxygen to hydroxyl ions according to the following equation:
  • [0000]

    O2+2H2O+4E=4OH
  • [0373]
    When performing dissolved oxygen level measurements of a gas-enriched solution according to the systems of the present invention, an overflow condition has been repeatedly experienced wherein the dissolved oxygen meter displays a reading that is higher than the meter is capable of reading. However, evaluation of the gas-enriched solution by Winkler Titration indicates lower dissolved oxygen (DO) level for the solution than indicated by the probe. Typically, in a DO probe (such as the Orion 862 used in these experiments) has a maximum reading of 60 ppm. However, when the meter is left in gas-enriched water of the present invention, it overflows.
  • [0374]
    Without wishing to be bound by any particular mechanism of action, the mechanism of the meter responds to electrons where the oxygen reacts. Further, since electron spin resonance indicates the fluid is free of ions, it follows that there is solvated electrons stabilized by the oxygen levels present in the gas-enriched fluid.
  • EXAMPLE 6 Improved Wound Healing
  • [0375]
    A study was performed to determine the improved healing characteristics of wounds which were exposed to an oxygen-enriched saline solution that was processed according to embodiments disclosed herein. In this experiment, bandages were placed on porcine dermal excision biopsy wounds. The bandages soaked in oxygen-enriched saline solution or a control group of bandages soaked in a saline solution that was not oxygen-enriched. Microscopically, several factors were evaluated by the study including: 1) epidermalization; 2) neovascularization; 3) epidermal differentiation; 4) mast cell migration; and 5) mitosis.
  • [0376]
    Externally, the wounds appeared to heal at varying rates. The wounds treated with the oxygen-enriched saline solution showed an increase in wound healing at days 4 through 11. However, both wounds seemed to complete healing at approximately the same time. The study showed that between days 3 and 11, the new epidermis in wounds treated with the oxygen-enriched saline solution migrated at two to four times as fast as the epidermis of the wounds treated with the normal saline solution. The study also showed that between 15 and 22 days, the wound treated by the oxygen-enriched saline solution differentiated at a more rapid rate as evidenced by the earlier formation of more mature epidermal layers. At all stages, the thickening that occurs in the epidermis associated with normal healing did not occur within the wounds treated by the oxygen-enriched saline solution.
  • [0377]
    Without wishing to be bound by any particular theory, it is believed that the oxygen-enriched saline solution may increase the level of NO within the wounds. NO modulates growth factors, collagen deposition, inflammation, mast cell migration, epidermal thickening, and neovascularization in wound healing. Furthermore, NO is produced by an inducible enzyme that is regulated by oxygen. Thus, while not wishing to be bound to any particular theory, the inventive gas-enriched fluid may stimulate NO production, in accordance with the spectrum of wound healing effects as seen in these experiments.
  • [0378]
    The epidermis of the healing pigs experienced earlier differentiation in the oxygen-enriched saline group at days 15 through 22. In the case of mast cell migration, differences also occurred in early and late migration for the oxygen-enriched solution. A conclusive result for the level of mitosis was unascertainable due to the difficulty in staining.
  • [0379]
    Referring now to FIG. 45 a through 45 h, various illustrations compare the wound healing results of the porcine epidermal tissues with or without oxygen-enriched saline solution. Thus, the healing of the control wound and of the wound using the oxygen-enriched saline solution was followed for days 1, 4 and 16. FIG. 45 a illustrates the wound healing for the control wound on day 1. As can be seen, the wound shows epidermal/dermal thickening and a loss of contour. FIG. 45 b illustrates the wound healing on day 1 for the wound treated using the oxygen-enriched saline solution. The wound shows normal epidermal/dermal thickness and normal contouring is typical on a new wound.
  • [0380]
    Referring now to FIGS. 45 c and 45 d, there are illustrated the wound healing for the control wound on day 4 and the wound healing for the wound treated with the oxygen-enriched saline solution on day 4. For the control wound illustrated in FIG. 45 c, the wound shows a 600 micron epidermal spur. In the wound treated with the oxygen-enriched saline solution in FIG. 45 d, there is illustrated a 1200 micron epidermal spur. Thus, in the first 4 days of the experiment, the epidermal spur created in the wound treated using the oxygen-enriched saline solution shows an epidermal growth rate of twice of that of the wound that was not treated with the oxygen-enriched saline solution.
  • [0381]
    Referring now to FIG. 45 e, there is illustrated the control wound at day 16. The wound shows less differentiated epidermis with loss of epidermal/dermal contour than that illustrated by the wound treated with the oxygen-enriched saline solution illustrated in FIG. 45 f. FIG. 45 f shows more differentiated epidermis and more normal epidermal/dermal contouring in the wound.
  • [0382]
    Thus, as illustrated with respect to FIGS. 45 a through 45 f, the wound treated with the inventive oxygen-enriched saline solution shows much greater healing characteristics than the untreated wound and shows a greater differentiated epidermis with more normal epidermal/dermal contour.
  • [0383]
    Furthermore, as illustrated in FIGS. 46-49, the wounds treated with the inventive gas-enriched saline solution exhibited increased levels at multiple time points of mast cells, elastin, angiogenesis, and proteoglycan/glycosaminoglycan expression, as detected by various specific stains. Accordingly, the gas-enriched fluid does not have deleterious effects on cutaneous wound healing, and indeed provides an environment of increased angiogenesis, and enhanced deposition of glycosaminoglycans and elastin fractions of the dermis during repair of full-thickness wounds.
  • EXAMPLE 7 In Vitro Wound Healing
  • [0384]
    The effects of a gas-enriched fluid (enriched with oxygen) were tested for the ability of cultured human epidermal keratinocytes to seal a wound.
  • [0385]
    Human epidermal keratinocytes were isolated from neonatal foreskins that were obtained from routine circumcision and de-identified. Foreskins were washed twice in PBS and incubated in 2.4 U/mL Dispase II in order to separate the dermis from the epidermis. The epidermis was incubated with 0.25% trypsin/1 mM EDTA, neutralized with soy bean trypsin inhibitor, agitated, and passed through a 70 um sieve to separate the cells. Next, the cell suspension was centrifuged and resuspended in cell culture medium (M154) supplemented with 0.07 mM CaCl2, and human keratinocyte growth supplements (0.2% hydrocortisone, 0.2 ng/mL human epidermal growth factor) and penicillin/streptomycin, amphoteracin antibiotic cocktail. The keratinocyte cell suspensions were plated onto uncoated 12-well culture dishes and the medium replaced after 24 hours, and every 48 hours after the initial seeding.
  • [0386]
    Upon reaching cellular confluence, linear scratches were made with a sterile p1000 pipette tip, which resulted in a uniform cell-free wound. The monolayers were washed several times with Dulbecco's PBS in order to remove any cellular debris. The wound monolayers were then incubated in the following media: i) the complete growth media (as described above in this Example); ii) the complete growth media diluted 1:1 with a sheared version of saline without oxygen (control fluid that was processed using the disclosed diffuser device but without adding a gas); and iii) the complete growth media diluted 1:1 with oxygen-enriched saline. Each study was done in triplicate.
  • [0387]
    Prior to incubation, the wells were filled with the respective media and sealed by placing a 25×25 mm glass coverslip on top of each well. At 6, 12, 24, and 48 hours post-wounding, oxygen measurements were made, and cultures were imagined.
  • [0388]
    Six hours post-wounding, the edges of the wounds in the saline and gas-enriched media were more ruffled than those in the media control that was processed with the diffuser device disclosed herein, but without the addition of a gas. Twelve hours post-wounding the edges of the wounds in all three media appeared uneven, with keratinocytes along the borders migrating toward the center of the wounds. Quantification of migrating keratinocytes revealed approximately the same level of keratinocyte migration in the saline and gas-enriched media. Results of the experiment are shown in FIGS. 44 a and 44 b.
  • EXAMPLE 8 Corneal Fibroblast Proliferation
  • [0389]
    Sterile gas-enriched water (with oxygen content of approximately 50 ppm), or standard sterile deionized water was utilized in preparing cell culture media. A human corneal stromal fibroblast cell line was plated in 24 well tissue culture plates at a density of 1×105 cells/cm2 and cells were tested for viability using a standard Live/Dead assay from Molecular Probes, Inc. Viability tests were conducted at 1 or 3 days of continuous culture with media changes twice per day. Viable and non-viable cells were counted in 10 random 20× fields (0.2 mm2 area/field) in each well. The percentage of dead cells was then calculated. Cells in the inventive gas-enriched media had fewer dead cells than in standard culture media. Results are shown in FIG. 50.
  • EXAMPLE 9 Pseudomonas Inhibition, Plates
  • [0390]
    Applying gas-enriched saline solution of the present invention limits Pseudomonas growth. Testing performed using a gas-enriched saline solution has indicated a reduction in Pseudomonas using water gas-enriched with oxygen.
  • [0391]
    Two test strains of Pseudomonas (ATCC accession no. 10145 and ATCC accession no. 27853) were prepared from fresh 24 hour cultures to a McFarland 1 concentration (approximately 3×108 microorganisms/mL). Each of the bacterial aliquots (1 mL) was serially diluted in 10 fold dilutions in 9 mL of broth-saline made from 1 part TSB broth and 9 parts sterile saline. The bacterial concentrations tested were 107, 106, 105, 104, 103, and 102, A negative control tube (no bacteria and no gas-enriched fluid of the present invention) was prepared. The positive control tubes (containing no gas-enriched fluid, normal saline and each of the 6 bacterial concentrations) were included in each set of tubes for testing of each bacterial strain.
  • [0392]
    Using the 10 fold dilutions of each bacterial strain, a set of 36 tubes was inoculated as follows:
  • [0393]
    1. 6 tubes received 1 mL of each of the dilutions; then 4 mL of each of the test gas-enriched fluids were added to each tube (bringing the total volume to 5 mL). The gas-enriched fluids were labeled as 50 ppm, 40 ppm, 30 ppm, 20 ppm, 10 ppm, and normal saline. The positive control was normal saline, against which all of the other tubes were measured for growth.
  • [0394]
    All tubes of each 36 tube experiment set for each Pseudomonas species were measured serially at 2 hour intervals within a 24 hour period after initial incubation at 35° C. Between readings of each set, the tubes were returned to 35° C. for continued incubation. Readings were performed using a calibrated spectrophotometer set at OD540.
  • [0395]
    The results of these tests indicate that the gas-enriched fluid of the present invention positively inhibits Pseudomonas strains at several bacterial dilutions within 4 to 12 hours after the start of incubation at 35° C., as well as later (16-24 hours) for both strains tested.
  • [0396]
    Specifically, the highest positive inhibition was found during 16 to 24 hours for both strains, at 30 or 50 concentration. The positive inhibition varies slightly depending on the concentration of test solutions, and concentration of bacterial samples tested.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 4
    Time at positive inhibition of Pseudomonas
    Time (hours)
    2 4 6 8 10 12 16 18 20 22 24
    ATCC 27853 0 1 3 1 2 2 5 0 5 7 6
    % + 3 10 3 6 6 16 16 23 20
    ATCC 10145 0 4 3 4 3 3 2 1 5 6 8
    % + 13 10 13 10 10 6 3 16 20 26
    % + = number + /30 (6 bacterial concentrations × 5 solution concentrations)
  • EXAMPLE 10 MIC Studies on Pseudomonas Inhibition, Tubes
  • [0397]
    Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) test solutions in two-fold dilutions were prepared in a base of broth-saline mixture made from 1 part TSB broth and 4 parts CFU-NS (normal saline). The negative control tube (containing no bacteria and no gas-enriched fluid) and the positive control tube (containing no gas-enriched fluid and bacteria) were included in each set of tubes tested. The fluid dilutions were: 50 ppm, 25 ppm, 12.5 ppm, 6.25 ppm, 3.12 ppm, 1.55 ppm, and 0.7 ppm. Following preparation of the tubes for each bacterial strain, pH was measured on samples from the two solutions. CFU-gas enriched fluid pH was about 6.8-7.2, while CFU-NS pH was about 6.2.
  • [0398]
    Following preparation of the 2 sets of covered tubes at 35° C. for 18 hours, visual inspection of all tubes revealed that the first tube labeled 50 ppm in each set showed no growth and all other tubes (except the negative control tube) showed moderate growth.
  • [0399]
    The tubes labeled 50 ppm and showed no growth upon visual inspection from the MIC studies were further tested for minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC). Samples were taken from each of these two tubes using sterile calibrated disposable loops of 0.1 mL capacity and were immediately streaked on BA plates to detect growth or inhibition of growth on the challenge bacteria. Following 18 hours incubation at 35° C., samples collected from each of the tubes showing no visual growth (tube 50 from ATCC 10145 and tube 50 from ATCC 27853) both showed growth at very high levels when streaked and plated on BA plates. The numbers of colonies were too numerous to count. Thus, a slight delay in growth was experienced with the tube 50 gas-enriched fluids.
  • EXAMPLE 11 Pseudomonas Inhibition, Dressings
  • [0400]
    Aquacel dressings were tested dry and hydrated with either test fluids 52 (pH 7.2-7.8), 50 (pH 6.0-6.2), 42 (pH 7.2), 34 (pH 7.2), 25 (pH 6.8), and 10 (pH 6.2), or normal saline (pH 6.2), against Pseudomonas strains ATCC 10145 and ATCC 27853 A first application of the gas-enriched test fluids or normal saline fluid to the dressings (0.4 mL) was followed by a second application 12 hours later (0.25 mL).
  • [0401]
    Results revealed a 3-4 mm clear area of inhibition around one of the three dressing pieces (1 cm square) treated with sterile 25 fluid applied to the three Pseudomonas ATCC accession no. 10145 seeded plates, and a 3-4 mm clear area of inhibition around one of the three dressing pieces (1 cm square) treated with sterile 25 fluid applied to one of the three Pseudomonas ATCC accession no. 27853 seeded plates. A clear area of less than 1-2 mm of inhibition was around 2 sides of the dry dressing on both strains. No zones of inhibition were detected around the other test or control dressings.
  • EXAMPLE 12 Microbial Inhibition, Dressings
  • [0402]
    Blood Agar plates were used and wound dressings used were Promogram Prisma matrix dressing (A) and hydrofiber dressing (B). The sterile dressings were tested with microorganisms from a 24 hour culture at a cell density with McFarland equivalence turbidity standards of 3.0×108/mL.
  • [0403]
    Test microorganisms were Staphlycoccus aureaus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. coli, and Candida albicans.
  • [0404]
    Dressings of each type were hydrated with approximately 0.8 mL of either gas-enriched fluid or normal saline, and left for approximately 30 minutes. Dry dressings were used as controls. Plates were then grown for 24 hours, and results recorded.
  • [0405]
    As viewed in the cell plates, the hydrofiber dressing (B) had no effect on growth of test microorganisms whether dry or hydrated with either fluid. The Prisma dressing (A) hydrated with gas-enriched fluid showed a zone of partial inhibition with colonies for Staph. aureaus, a 1 mm zone of inhibition for Staph. epidermidis, a 2-3 mm zone of inhibition with an added halo effect extending out an additional 2-3 mm for Pseudomonas, a 2 mm zone of inhibition for Candida, and no effect for E. coli.
  • [0406]
    The dry control hydrofiber dressing (A) had a zone of 2-3 mm of inhibition for Staph. auereaus, Staph. epidermidis, Pseudomonas, and a partial inhibition of about 1-2 mm for E. coli and Candida, with break-through colonies observed.
  • [0407]
    The normal saline control hydrofiber dressing (A) showed a 2 mm zone of partial inhibition for Staph. auereaus, Staph. epidermidis, and Pseudomonas. Colonies were observed grown into E. coli and Candida test strains.
  • EXAMPLE 13 MIC/MBC Testing with Tobramycin
  • [0408]
    The gas-enriched fluids of the present invention were tested randomly against three Pseudomonas strains, PA 01, PA 14, and PA K. Each bacterial culture was prepared from fresh 24 hour cultures to McFarland 1 concentration (approximately 3×108 microorganisms/mL). Each of the bacterial samples (1 mL) were then serially diluted in 10 fold dilutions to 9 mL of a broth-saline mixture made from 1 part MH broth and 9 parts sterile saline. The bacterial concentrations tested were 105, 104, 103, and 102. Negative control tubes (containing no bacteria and no gas-enriched saline solution, and no Tobramycin), as well as positive control tubes (containing test bacteria concentrations and normal saline but no Tobramycin, and no gas-enriched fluid), were run side-by-side with the test solutions. Cells were incubated at 35° C. Results are shown in Table 5 below. Sheared normal saline was passed through the gas-enriching diffuser device of the present invention without the addition of a gas to the fluid.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 5
    Better kill rate with Tobramycin and Gas-enriched
    fluid than Tobramycin Alone
    Dissolved Gas PA
    Fluid Description (Oxygen, ppm) PA01 14 PAK
    A Gas-enriched Saline 33.4 Yes Yes No
    B Gas-enriched saline 23.8 No Yes No
    C Gas-enriched saline 49.6 Yes Yes Yes
    D Normal saline 9.6 No No No
    E Gas-enriched saline 42.8 Yes Yes Yes
    F Sheared normal saline (no 14.1 Yes Yes Yes
    gas enrichment)
  • EXAMPLE 14 DNA Thermostability
  • [0409]
    The thermostability of T7 DNA oligonucleotide in one embodiment of the inventive oxygen-enriched water, was compared with non-enriched deionized water. As the temperature of the water increases, the DNA undergoes conformational changes and “melts.” As illustrated in FIG. 38, the DNA oligonucleotide begins to denature at about 50° Celsius in the control (deionized water), whereas the DNA oligonucleotide in the oxygen-enriched inventive fluid remains intact until about 60° Celsius. Indeed, based on known thermodynamic principles, and G-C/A-T content of the oligo, the “melting” temperature of the T7 primer is estimated to be about 47.7° C. Thus, the inventive oxygen-enriched fluid imparts a higher thermostability to the DNA, and different conformational change and denaturation temperature when compared to control fluid.
  • EXAMPLE 15 Pyrogallol Reactivity Test
  • [0410]
    An aliquot of the inventive oxygen-enriched water was tested for peroxidase activity by using a commercially available horseradish peroxidase and pyrogallol assay (Sigma). Briefly, pyrogallol stock solution was prepared with deionized water. Pyrogallol measures peroxidase activity of the horseradish peroxidase enzyme on the fluid as it reacts with a substrate (such as hydrogen peroxide or other electron acceptor), to yield purpurogallin and water. Test fluid with horseradish peroxidase, pyrogallol and the appropriate potassium phosphate buffer were compared with other fluids. Hydrogen peroxide served as the positive control. The other fluids tested were water that was oxygen-enriched and pressurized in a pressure pot, up to 100 psi to reach the desired dissolved oxygen level (Pressure Pot), while the other fluid was oxygen-enriched with an air stone in an open beaker (Fine Bubble). All fluids tested were maintained at room temperature, and measured approximately 55 ppm dissolved oxygen level (by FOXY probe).
  • [0411]
    The reaction was carried out at 200 Celsius, pH 6.0, A420 nm light path at 1 cm with continuous spectrophotometric rate determination.
  • [0412]
    Reagents were as follows:
  • [0413]
    100 mM potassium phosphate buffer, pH 6.0, 20° Celsius
  • [0414]
    5% (w/v) pyrogallol solution
  • [0415]
    0.4-0.7 unit/mL peroxidase enzyme in cold buffer (made fresh).
  • [0416]
    The test sample contained 2.10 mL of inventive fluid, 0.32 mL buffer, and 0.32 mL pyrogallol, and 0.10 mL enzyme solution. The control sample contained 2.10 mL of inventive fluid, 0.32 mL buffer, 0.32 mL pyrogallol, and an additional 0.10 buffer added for equivalent volume with test sample. The reaction was immediately mixed by inversion and recorded increase in A420 nm for approximately 6 minutes. When the test solution is 0.50% (w/v) hydrogen peroxide, then one unit will form 1.0 mg of purpurogallon from pyrogallol in 20 seconds at pH 6.0 at 20° Celsius. The purpurogallon unit is equivalent to approximately 18 μM units per minute at 250 Celsius. Thus, in a 3.00 mL reaction mix, the final concentration are 14 μM potassium phosphate, 0.27% (w/w) hydrogen peroxide, 0.5% (w/v) pyrogallol and 0.04-0.07 unit peroxidase.
  • [0417]
    As indicated in FIGS. 39A-39E, the inventive oxygen-enriched fluid tested positive for reactivity with horseradish peroxidase by pyrogallol, indicating the presence of an electron acceptor, while the pressure pot and fine bubbled water samples had far less reactivity.
  • [0418]
    Several chemical tests for the presence of hydrogen peroxide were conducted, as described herein, and none of these tests were positive. Thus, the inventive oxygen-enriched fluid of the instant application provides for peroxidase activity in the absence of hydrogen peroxide.
  • EXAMPLE 16 Glutathione Peroxidase Study
  • [0419]
    The inventive oxygen-enriched fluid was tested for the presence of hydrogen peroxide by testing the reactivity with glutathione peroxidase using a standard assay (Sigma). Briefly, glutathione peroxidase enzyme cocktail was constituted in deionized water and the appropriate buffers. Water samples were tested by adding the enzymatic reagents. Continuous spectrophotometric rate determination was made at A340 nm, and room temperature (250 Celsius). Samples tested were: 1. deionized water (negative control), 2. inventive oxygen-enriched fluid at low concentration, 3. inventive oxygen-enriched fluid at high concentration, 4. hydrogen peroxide (positive control). As illustrated in FIG. 40, the hydrogen peroxide positive control showed a strong reactivity, while none of the other fluids tested reacted with the glutathione peroxidase.
  • EXAMPLE 17 Cytokine Profile
  • [0420]
    Mixed lymphocytes were obtained from a single healthy volunteer donor. Buffy coat samples were washed according to standard procedures to remove platelets. Lymphocytes were plated at a concentration of 2×106 per plate in RPMI media (+50 mm HEPES) diluted with either inventive gas-enriched fluid or distilled water (control). Cells were stimulated with 1 microgram/mL T3 antigen, or 1 microgram/mL phytohemagglutinin (PHA) lectin (pan-T cell activator), or unstimulated (negative control). Following 24 hour incubation, cells were checked for viability and the supernatants were extracted and frozen.
  • [0421]
    The supernatants were thawed, centrifuged, and tested for cytokine expression using a XMAP® (Luminex) bead lite protocol and platform. Results are shown in FIG. 42. Notably, IFN-gamma level was higher in the inventive gas-enriched culture media with T3 antigen than in the control culture media with T3 antigen, while IL-8 was lower in the inventive gas-enriched culture media with T3 antigen than in the control culture media with T3 antigen. Additionally, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-alpha levels were lower in the inventive gas-enriched media with PHA, than in the control media with PHA, while IL-1b levels were lower in the inventive gas-enriched fluid with PHA when compared with control media with PHA. In gas-inventive media alone, IFN-gamma levels were higher than in control media.
  • [0422]
    Two million cells were plated into 6 wells of a 24-well plate in full RPMI+50 mm Hepes with either inventive oxygen-enriched fluid (water) (wells 1, 3, and 5) or distilled water (2, 4 and 6) (10× RPMI diluted into water to make 1×). Cells were stimulated with 1 ug/ml T3 antigen (wells 1 and 2) or PHA (wells 3 and 4). Control wells 5 and 6 were not stimulated. After 24 hours, cells were checked for viability and supernatants were collected and frozen. Next, the supernatants were thawed and spun at 8,000 g to pellet. The clarified supernatants were assayed for the cytokines listed using a LUMINEX BEAD LITE protocol and platform. The numerical data is tabulated in Table 1, and the corresponding bar graphs are depicted in FIG. 42.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 1
    Sample IFN IL-10 IL-12p40 IL-12p70 II-2 IL-4 IL-5 IL-6 IL-8 IL-ib IL-10 TNFa
    1 0 0 0 2.85 0 0 7.98 20.3 1350 7.56 11500 15.5
    2 0 0 0 3.08 0 0 8 15.2 8940 3.68 4280 7.94
    3 0 581 168 3.15 0 0 8 16400 2200 3280 862 13700
    4 0 377 56.3 4.22 0 0 8.08 23800 22100 33600 558 16200
    5 0 0 0 2.51 0 0 7.99 24 1330 7.33 5900 8.55
    6 0 0 0 2.77 0 0 8 5.98 3210 4.68 3330 0
  • EXAMPLE 18 Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein (MOG)
  • [0423]
    As set forth in FIG. 52, lymphocyte proliferation in response to MOG antigenic peptide was increased when cultured in the presence of the inventive gas-enriched fluid when compared to pressurized, oxygenated fluid (pressure pot) or deioninzed control fluid. Thus, the inventive gas-enriched fluid amplifies the lymphocyte proliferative response to an antigen to which the cells were previously primed.
  • [0424]
    Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein peptide 35-55 (MOG 35-55) (M-E-V-G-W-Y-R-S-P-F-S-R-O-V-H-L-Y-R-N-G-K) (SEQ ID NO:2) corresponding to the known mouse sequence was synthesized. Next, 5×105 spleen cells were removed from MOG T cell receptor transgenic mice previously immunized with MOG, and were cultured in 0.2 ml TCM fluid reconstituted with inventive gas-enriched fluid, pressurized oxygenated water (pressure pot water) or with control deionized water. Splenocytes were cultured with MOG p35-55 for 48 or 72 hours, respectively. Cultures were pulsed with 1Ci [3H]-thymidine and harvested 16 hours later. Mean cpm of [3H] thymidine incorporation was calculated for triplicate cultures. Results are shown in FIG. 52.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification514/789
International ClassificationA61P17/02, A61K45/00
Cooperative ClassificationB01F3/04531, B01F3/0853, B01F7/00816, B29D11/00038, B01F3/0807, A61K45/06, A61K9/0048, B29D11/00096, A61K33/14, A61K9/0014, A61K33/00
European ClassificationB01F3/08D, B01F3/04C5, B01F7/00G2B, B01F3/08C, B29D11/00C4, A61K9/00M16, A61K33/14, A61K45/06, A61K33/00
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Owner name: REVALESIO CORPORATION, WASHINGTON
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